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Urooba Abid - 12th grade 
$500.00 College Scholarship Winner

Urooba Abid has enrolled in the most rigorous courses Farmingdale High School has to offer and has excelled. Urooba is a very special individual who is passionate about social activism. She is an active member and chapter leader of Girls Learn International and has worked hard to raise awareness of the issue of Islamophobia. Through Girls Learn International, Urooba was invited to speak at the United Nations during the Annual Girls Speak Out Event. It is there that she discussed the impact of western Islamophobia on Muslim girls around the globe. She has created presentations regarding Islamophobia in the Media at school meetings, and conducted research on the motivational differences between Pakistani female education and American female education. She submitted her research to the MIT Inspire Competition! 

 While she spends a great deal of time bringing awareness to this social issue, it is not Urooba’s only passion. She has several STEAM related activities including independent research with the Partners for the Future Program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Urooba had also spent a summer at Hofstra University’s Summer Research Program, working alongside a psychology professor on how to program codes for the Arduino Uno microcontroller while creating a physiotherapy glove for low income patients. She is the president of the Environmental Club and captain of the Envirothon team where they won 3rd place at the 2016 Regional Competition and 1st place in Oral Presentation. Through her leadership, Urooba’s teams were successful, focused and driven. She is also a member of the Mathletes and was a Silver Pin awardee.

Urooba is always looking to help those in need. She is the definition of altruistic and involves herself in activities that will benefit others. She is a peer tutor, a mentor to the ENL students, founded the Art Auction fundraiser, organized a volleyball tournament, and a coffee house night to raise money for Girls Education! She has received numerous accolades including the Student Leadership award for the Holocaust Memorial Center and several from the Board of Education.

I used both water color paint and crayons to create a piece that portrays the overlooked mental health issues that Syrian children are currently facing. While people may see the physical affects of the Syrian Civil War, many often forget about the PTSD that also comes along with exposure to any war. These children are silently suffering, lacking the resources to quickly recover from these mental health issues, that affect their relationships, education, and daily life. 

While my paintings are not the main solution to this problem, I hope to get the conversation started. By showing people in my school, community, and country the effects of this crisis, I hope to increase the number of people concerned with this issue, resulting in an increase in the demand for mental health facilities and treatments to be more readily available to these children.
Silent Syrian Crisis