“The opportunity to study in the United States has always been my biggest dream.”
Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Recipient
Profile: In high school in Egypt, Mostafa Elkohil’s friends called him “The Creator” because he was always involved in school activities, expressing his thoughts and ideas. Perhaps the nickname should have been “The Dreamer” because Mostafa dreams big. He dreams of the day, armed with a degree in mechanical engineering, that he’ll return to his home country to design and build the first-ever Egyptian-built automobile that would be available and affordable to Egypt’s working class. The young man, who took Pennsylvania’s Northampton Community College by storm when he arrived in the US from Egypt, is on his way in 2012 to a top-flight engineering school to earn his degree.
Inspiration: Dr. Allison Carpenter at Northampton College is the one teacher who has influenced Mostafa the most. Dr. Carpenter, from the first day she met Mostafa, showed an interest in his progress, learned of his dreams to make a difference in the world, and gave him the encouragement and push necessary to help him succeed in a new environment. “Many teachers have encouraged me throughout my school career; however, what was special about Dr. Carpenter was not only did she encourage me; she kept me grounded at the same time.”
Aspiration: Mostafa wants to become a mechanical engineer, return to his native Egypt and do great things in the area of auto design and production.
Making a Difference: Mostafa had been in the States for less than three weeks and immediately immersed himself in the college community at Northampton. He joined the school’s cycling club, eventually becoming its president. This was about the time of the horrific natural disaster in Haiti. He mobilized the club’s membership and organized a fund-raising “bicycle tune-up” for the benefit of Haitian relief efforts. Mostafa also realized that the college had bicycles available and that there was a significant population of international students lacking transportation. He organized required bicycle safety training sessions for students who wanted bicycles and arranged the maintenance of the college bicycles. The bicycle-lending program that Mostafa started gave international students living in residence halls more freedom and flexibility in their transportation.
Accolades: Mostafa proudly lists the Cooke Scholarship at the top of his list of awards. He also was a Fulbright Community College Initiative Scholar, earned the Hites Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, and was elected to Phi Theta Kappa.
Interesting Fact: Mostafa has a black belt in Karate.
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