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Federal Way Rotary honors student leader: 'She’s enlightened'
In a 25-year tradition, the Federal Way Rotary Club’s “Student of the Month” award was bestowed upon Todd Beamer senior Yusra Hamidani during a presentation given before the Federal Way School Board on Nov. 22.
Rotary member Jack Stanford briefly outlined what Rotary looks for in giving the award to a local student, saying leadership and excellence are two of the most important traits.
“(Student of the Month) allows the school and the public and the community to see the very brightest,” Stanton said. “(These are) the students that will lead us out of all the kinds of problems we have right now.”
Stanford said the school nominates three students, then Rotary members interview the students. Hamidani, he said, is a sign that there are still better things to come for the community, the country and the world.
“She is one of the lights at the end of the tunnel that we all need: political leadership, student leadership, community leadership, academic leadership, all rolled into one young lady from Pakistan,” Stanford said. “She’s amazing, she’s enlightened.”
Hamidani accepted the award graciously from Stanford, saying his kind words were very much appreciated. The young woman hopes to move on to college next year, and eventually become the CEO of a computer company.
“I’m hoping to attend the University of Washington, if they accept me,” she said. “I have some dreams that I would like to accomplish. I want to be a CEO of a computer science company like Microsoft. That’s been my dream. I want to get a double major in computer science and business administration.”
The Beamer senior thanked her parents for always being willing to push her, even when she wasn’t particularly feeling like being pushed.
“I want to start off by thanking my parents. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today. Their support, their push, has driven me to be here,” she said. “All those times I hated them for being hard on me, looking back at it now, I really appreciate it.”
Hamidani closed her remarks by encouraging others to be involved in the community through groups like Rotary, saying it’s a rewarding experience for anyone.
“I encourage all those listening today, whether you’re a student or an adult, to just volunteer a few hours every week. It pays off a lot, the feeling is incredible,” she said with a big smile.