My path is dotted with dance, poetry, civic action, engineering, mathematics, philosophy, and management. I profoundly appreciate my Palestinian and Egyptian heritage, and my beautiful hometown of Douglasville, Georgia. As a disciplined and positive individual, with faith in my country, God and peers, I hope to have the humility to serve my community as a student, soldier, and scientist. My values inspire me to defend underprivileged citizens in nearby communities through technological advancements in healthcare and education. Each day is another step on the personal journey, and the blessings thus far have been innumerable.
Discipline. Positivity. Faith. Humility. Service. These five values are represented in the Four Core, or the four phrases guiding my life. Each phrase being in a different language signifies a personal passion for diversity. I aspire to the aforementioned ideals through my actions and by my tongue.
Public Policy is a toolbox paradox. Topics of discussion shift like sand, relative to the zeitgeist. Despite this state of political flux, studies are rooted in customs, common practices, and legislation. Through critical thinking and a multidimensional perspective, Public Policy students grasp the foundational tools for policy analysis. No matter the problem, you can be certain that Public Policy majors have the technical skills and social ingenuity to develop effective solutions to deliver tangible change.
“I chose to study Public Policy and Biomedical Engineering to gain the ability to develop and implement tangible community changes. The programs provide me with an education that supplements my ability to learn, not the other way around.”
TEDxDouglasville, the first TEDx event in West Georgia, is a local, self-organized, annual event where TEDTalks and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion about themes relevant to Douglasville, Georgia. As the licensed organizers at TEDxDouglasville, I have been blessed with the opportunity to oversee the development and direction of fellow young people in specialized roles including executive production, graphic design, sponsorship management, online communications, web design, and marketing.
One year later TEDxDouglasville has engaged twenty-two high school and collegiate volunteers with their community, inspired and contributed towards the development of the Douglas Youth Department (DYD) and Progressive Action towards the Health of Douglasville (PATH), and partnered with industry giants including Google and Walmart. With each new event, our team rediscovers the fulfillment of public service, and sets precedent for younger members to make community changes. TEDxDouglasville’s primary success has been spring boarding the young to shape their communities by providing a testing ground to do so. In turn, my engagement with TEDxDouglasville has assisted me in developing excellent leadership qualities and interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills to reach even higher goals.
Mahdi is a 2015 recipient of the ISF-Muslim Community Association of the Bay Area (MCA) Scholarship which is awarded to outstanding students by the Islamic Scholarship Fund. He was awarded this scholarship for his hard work in his community and the greater Atlanta area. Way to go Mahdi!
I joined Georgia Tech's Army ROTC in the fall of 2014 as a compressed cadet. I made this decision for a variety of reasons, the most important of which includes learning lessons in humility and leadership, followed by a personal dedication to public service and an appreciation for the U.S. Military.
“I came to appreciate humility: not thinking less of one’s self, but thinking more of those who are selfless. I accepted being one of many, and that there is something uniquely special in uniformity.”
In the summer of 2015, I successfully completed the Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) at Fort Knox. I had an excellent opportunity to engage with a variety of people from across the United States. I witnessed teams struggle, fall apart, and come back together in times of hardship. I realized learning is a continuous process across spatial and temporal dimensions; we can take away lessons learned from everyone and everything around us at all times. I came to appreciate humility: not thinking less of one’s self, but thinking more of those who are selfless. I accepted being one of many, and that there is something uniquely special in uniformity. An amazing experience. 6th Regiment Hell Hounds, you will be missed, Hooah!
Windmills, Zulus, Jackhammers, Baby-Swipes, Coffee-Grinders, Kick-Outs… the diversity and boldness of move names represents break-dance, and my personality. Dance is both an experiential journey and a powerful form of self-expression. I constantly strive to spin heads with head-spins, while earning into a BBOY culture rich with urban history.
fantasy living. Impossibilities, realities, writing on the wall.
Not between the lines but in bold graffiti:
it’s a culture. Surviving, thriving, an art form stands tall. BREAK.
How does one grind the coffee? BREAK.
To break dance (or to break bones) is to break restrictions, and save stones. BREAK.”
The time to make a difference is not post-graduation. Find where your passion and social ingenuity overlap. Then take the tools of the classroom and build something magnificent. There’s little reason to sit idly on opportunities readily available to you now. You are both your greatest strength and weakness, your strongest motivation and sorrow. Fail faster, and go further. Additionally, Public Policy may encourage you to peer over the edge, and that’s OK. Innovation sparks when your gut churns. If your gut ain’t churnin, you ain’t learnin!
For questions about featured students, photography, or to recommend a new undergraduate profile, contact Elizabeth Miller.
Interview: Caroline Wesson, Jamie Kazenstein, Photography: Elizabeth Miller