Tarek Sabbah , 2012 Seymour Award Finalist
In his personal statement, Tarek describes a difficult moment in his life when he moved from a big city to a small town, which felt to him like the middle of nowhere, and Tarek was afraid that he would be cheated out of his educational experience. But, in a "moment of revelation" Tarek realized that he had feared the unknown and stepping out of his comfort zone, but writes "After I was embraced with the warmth and synergy that my school and community had to offer, I couldn't fathom what I was ever afraid of. Opportunities opened up, which I believe would
not have existed had I remained in the city". Tarek says that CSF has fostered the need for service and a personal lifelong commitment to his community.
According to Sandra Torrence, Tarek's CSF advisor at Chowchilla Union High School, Tarek has been a very active member in their CSF chapter. He has demonstrated his leadership abilities as CSF treasurer, and more recently as chapter president. He has helped coordinate campus visits,
recruit new members, and implement a recycling program, and has volunteered many hours of community service. Ms. Torrence writes that Tarek's organizational and leadership abilities allowed him to excel as Chowchilla Union High School hosted the 2011 CSF/CJSF Central regional conference, even facilitating a session on how to strengthen the leadership of a chapter.
Tarek's AP math teacher, Sandra Barragan, states that Tarek has a large amount of natural talent, thinks quickly, and never gives up. She explains that Tarek has the ability to solve complex problems by thinking outside the box and being very creative. These assets help Tarek fall naturally into the role as a leader, and generally leads his peers to solutions with clever ideas and thoughts. He is on the school leadership team, and the varsity tennis team, and, according to Ms. Barragan, he always participates with a positive attitude, and is a great role model as a team leader.
In the fall, Tarek plans to attend the University of California Irvine, and to major in biology.