.:2008 Rihani Scholarship Recipients
The members of the Ameen Rihani Scholarship Selection Committee have always had to contend with the challenge of choosing a winner from among a list of highly qualified applicants. 2008 was no different of a year in that regard. After long deliberations, the Scholarship Selection Committee announced that the winner of the $1,500 Ameen Rihani Scholarship for 2008 is Sofia Yassine, an American of Lebanese descent from Rohnert Park, CA.
According to one of her teachers, Sofia Yassine is a deep thinker and an accomplished writer with many of her essays having been posted on the classroom wall as examples of excellence. Another teacher was quoted saying that "Sofia has demonstrated qualities of intellect, kindness, responsibility, and motivation." Sofia has completed her high school studies with a 3.6 cumulative grade point average. She has taken several advanced courses such as Honors and Advanced Placement English and Spanish classes, as well as math and science classes beyond what is required for college admission. She has accumulated over 175 community service hours volunteering in a variety of service organizalions including state parks, elementary schools, environmental awareness groups, and animal shelters.
Sofia is now enrolled at California State University in Long Beach where she plans to pursue a degree in Journalism. As a future successful journalist, she wants to report on important issues occurring in the areas of the world that often go unnoticed or unreported. One of her personal goals is to make a difference in people's lives. Sofia plans to spread the word through her writings that Arabs are good-hearted people. She writes, "I want people to share the positive outlook that I have of my heritage. I feel if I can convey to the general public that growing up half-Lebanese was a blessing which gave me a perspective on the world that many are unable to possess, that many people will begin to see the Arab culture in the positive light that I do."
The Ameen Rihani Scholarship Committee extends its warm congratulations to Sofia!
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, runner-ups will also be recognized. These individuals have enjoyed similar exemplary characteristics and achievements as those of the selected scholarship winner.
The runner-ups for the 2008 Ameen Rihani Scholarship are:
Tania Eid, Lebanese-American from Texas, entering University of Texas in Austin
Jenna Hage-Hassan, Lebanese-American from Michigan, entering Georgetown University