Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?
It was supposed to be a simple interview for entering a high school, but it felt like a grueling interrogation. In addition to having a high GPA, I had to go through two other hurdles; pass a test on seven different subjects, and go through the interview. One step away form entering the fourth best high school of Iran, I was anxious about the results of the interview. Their primary concern was to find out if I followed all of the Islamic laws as they were written in Quran. Answering their detailed questions about my religious belief and practices, I realized that in spite the relaxed religious view of my family, now I had to be a devout Muslim at school. I had to follow all of the harsh rules, which took away such simple personal choices as wearing t-shirts. The first year of my high school was like hell for me. I became an outsider because teachers and students soon figured out that I wasn’t a religious person. I didn’t want to have the same experience in the second year, so I came up with some ideas for changing the school’s laws and myself. In the second year I participated in some extracurricular activities at school and became one of the four student-elected presidents of tenth grade. Students felt my sincere dedication to their causes, and the trust they bestowed on me made the school administration pay more attention to our demands. After a while I felt it was time for change. Our school was still teaching Quran studies while most of other schools had replaced it by computer science. We asked the school to give us computer classes instead of Quran classes. For months school administration turned deaf ears to our repeated request. We had no other choice but to appeal to the minster of education of Iran. I was chosen as the spokesperson for the school. The minister and I talked for about an hour, and he finally agreed to replace Quran studies with computer science as a credited course. My principle told me I was the first student since the Iranian revolution who spoke with the minister in person. The change wasn’t limited to school. As a future engineer I believe in Newton’s third law. Every action has a reaction and as much as I changed the school, school changed me to the person I am today. I’m able to face problems and accept my limitations but never give up working diligently to create change.