.:2014 Rihani Scholarship Recipients
The Rihani Scholarship Selection Committee is charged with the task of selecting the scholarship recipient for the year. As in past years, this year presented a challenging task because of the large number of highly qualified applicants. The committee continues to be highly impressed by the caliber of applicants who have competed for this year's award. Their character, academic performance, talents, and contributions to society are exemplary which made the task for the committee that much harder. With such highly qualified applicants, the task of selecting the recipient of the Ameen Rihani scholarship remains a delight and a challenge for the members of the Scholarship Selection Committee. This year, the Committee had long deliberations resulting in the announcement of the winner of the $1,500 Ameen Rihani Scholarship for 2014 - Sarah Mokh, a Lebanese-American from Dearborn, Michigan. The three runners-up were also well qualified and deserve to be recognized accordingly. However, given the current rules of the Scholarship Program, only one individual could be chosen as the Recipient of the Rihani Scholarship.
Born in Baalbek, Lebanon, Sarah emigrated to the United States as a child, at the age of 3. During her high school studies, she was recognized as a person students and teachers seek for leadership. She has served as the President of the Do Something Club, founded the Art Club and Choral Club, and co-founded the Slam Poetry Club. Sarah loves to write, and "hopes to impart a few insightful words into a world that already thrums with the silent shouts of written observations." Academically, Sarah has enjoyed a ranking among the top 5% of her graduating class. In addition, she has taken several AP classes and obtained the highest ACT score in her class.
Coming from a low-income family, Sarah was displaced from her home four times between her freshman and junior year, yet she continued to express appreciation for her blessings instead of regret at her hardships.
One of her teachers describes her as "an activist and proponent of the arts and humanities, a scholar, phenomenal leader, and empathetic human being". Her high school counselor, clearly proud of his student, states that "she is the most intelligent reader I have had in my 27 years in high school, with an amazing vocabulary and control of language". He goes on to say, "I will miss Sarah and know I will one day read about her. It has been an honor to have crossed paths with this young lady as her unique outlook has enhanced my role as a guidance counselor. She is no doubt the most qualified and well-rounded student I have had in a long time and exceeds my past Ivy Leaguers".
Sarah has been accepted at Harvard College, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. She will be enrolled at Harvard in the Fall of 2014. She is interested in pursuing her studies in Literature. Her goal is to effectively offer her ideas and experiences, through her writings, to her community and the world.
The Ameen Rihani Scholarship Committee extends its warm congratulations to Sarah!
Each year the Ameen Rihani Organization receives scholarship applications from a number of highly talented students who will be entering their first year of university studies. Since the Rihani scholarship can only be offered to one student each year, the Scholarship Selection Committee decided that, beginning with 2006, runners-up will also be recognized. These individuals have enjoyed similar exemplary characteristics and achievements as the one who is selected as the Scholarship Recipient.
The runners-up for the 2014 Ameen Rihani Scholarship are:
Michael Hammond, Lebanese-American from Miami, Florida, entering the University of Pennsylvania
Anthony Sawaya-Calacino, Lebanese-American from Grand Junction, Colorado, entering the University
Andrew Kuzma, Lebanese-American from Buena Vista, Pennsylvania, entering Pennsylvania State University
Congratulations to Sarah, Michael, Anthony, and Andrew!