#MNPSco2017: Abdulkarim Abbas, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School
Abdul and his family moved to the United States from Yemen in 2010 to escape the country's devastating economic hardships. Though he was still in middle school at the time, he took personal responsibility to learn to speak, read and write English. He has always pursued the most rigorous curriculum he could successfully navigate, as he truly believes in the value of hard work and accepting challenges. Though he can readily recall many days when he went home and cried because he was teased for not knowing the English language, he never let that "roadblock" dampen his optimism and enthusiasm for learning.
Abdul is a valued member of Pearl Cohn's Academy of Entertainment Communication Broadcasting Team, and has developed advanced skills as a camera operator, editor, producer, and director. He was nominated for a student Emmy Award for his work on "Justice," a student-produced courtroom miniseries. He regularly creates both football and basketball television stories for broadcasts. He is an outstanding soccer player, a community volunteer, and a dedicated employee of the Capitol Tower Market, where he stocks and serves as cashier. His ability to speak both English and Arabic serves him well in his customer service-oriented job.
"Abdul's resilience and dogged determination are well-known and admired by both peers and faculty," said Connie Hensley, a college and career counselor at Pearl-Cohn High School. His favorite quote is from Paul Brandt: "Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon." We have no doubt that Abdul will continue reaching for the moon!
Abdul graduated in the top five percent of his graduating class this year. During his senior year he enrolled in Advanced Placement classes and earned recognition for both perfect attendance and Honor Roll. He will attend Belmont University next year on a full "Bridges to Belmont" scholarship.