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“I see my creativity as a means to solve the most difficult of challenges. It has become natural for me to employ my most inventive thoughts and actions when under pressing circumstances. I never simply quit when pushed to the edge.”
Scholar Interview - Neveen Mahmoud
Neveen Mahmoud - ABC's Good Morning America
Neveen Mahmoud - Action News WPVI-TV (ABC) Philadelphia
Neveen Mahmoud, a Jack Kent Cook Foundation Young Scholar, hopes to attend Princeton, Stanford, or Columbia University in the fall with the continued support of the Foundation.
When Neveen entered the Foundation’s Young Scholars Program four years ago at the age of 13, she was already working tirelessly towards her goal to “change society or the larger world or, at the very least, inspire someone who will do so.”
Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Neveen was raised alone by her mother. A mother who, despite a chronic illness that kept her from working, did all she could to ensure success for her daughter. “From day one my mother did everything possible to inspire and encourage me” Neveen stated recently.
Neveen’s dad returned to his birthplace, Cairo, when she was about three years old. In the past fourteen years, she visited him once at the age of seven. Despite his absence, her father’s last words to her continue to resonate. “His screams refracted and reverberated through the small apartment as I gathered my belongings. At seven years old, my ears were overwhelmed with the yelling,” Neveen remembers. “I was simply overwhelmed with such tones and words. My aunt grasped my hand and reassured me that another plane would be flying out within hours. As I passed my father for the last time, I heard his last fleeting burst of English: ‘I’m going to have a good child who’s better than you.’”
In her college scholarship application Neveen describes the impact of these words: “Although the direct influence that this sentence has had on my life has evolved considerably, its overall significance has remained unchanged. For the past ten years, I have looked to those eleven words to push me, to help me study for an extra thirty minutes, to run the last 100 yard sprint, to dig deep and make the best of what I have been given. While my strength of body and mind alike have been developed by a number of factors, it is my father words that push both to the limit when needed.”
Warren Van Nus
Georgia Institute of Technology
St. John's College