Muhammad Maaz Syed
Week #2 was very productive and interesting. I visited International High School at Prospect Heights. IHSPH is on the 4th floor of the beautiful Prospect Heights High School building, which was built in the 1920s. I was welcomed by student counselor Kristi Pantin. She was very busy placing some 90 interns on sites when I walked into her student filled office, yet she still found the time to introduce me to Souleymane Diallo and Chemi Chemi. Souleymane, who is a senior from Guinea, is an amazing guy. We talked for 20 minutes and I left energized and inspired by his journey, and especially by his desire to give back to the community by participating in afterschool programs, helping out a local soup kitchens or tutoring his peers in math. Souleymane hopes to work in Finance after he graduates from college. I was also very impressed by Chemi, who left Tibet for India before moving to the US. She was full of energy and told me she had just been accepted to Hampshire College to study Journalism. She told IHSPH and her teachers helped find her own voice and the power to use it wisely. I had a great time interviewing Souleyman and Chemi because we have a lot in common yet come from such different parts of the world. Before leaving, I took some photos of IHSPH’s walls because they are decorated with colorful paintings, students projects and inspiring quotes. After posting these student profiles on the Internationals Network Facebook page, I personally received a lot of great and positive feedback from my schoolmates, teachers and even my cousins. I’m proud to be part of the Internationals community.