Five high school students from the UAE have developed new initiatives designed to support their local communities through meaningful and impactful engagement. From a drone maker with a social conscience, to a recycling activist, among others, these students have been inspired by the ethos and vision of the UAE, enshrined in The Year of Giving 2017, to realize their full potential through their personal drive and dedication.
The Year of Giving 2017 is about strengthening social responsibility, promoting the spirit of volunteerism and undertaking genuine services to help both local society and internationally. These students, who all demonstrate a strong commitment to community service, were mentored by their counselors at Hale Education Group as they prepare to apply to US universities.
Maryam Ehtesham, a Pakistani student from Sharjah, kick-started her neighborhood’s very first recycling initiative. Maryam has been volunteering with Emirates Environmental Group since 2010, and decided to encourage her neighbors and relatives to integrate recycling into their lifestyle by adopting four distinct recycling bins for paper, plastic, beverage cartons, and cans.
Another student has been actively engaged with United Nations initiatives. Darianne De Anda a Mexican student living in Dubai, co-founded the first Girl Up chapter at her school. Girl Up is a United Nations Foundation working to improve the lives of girls around the world, while raising awareness about the global problem of gender inequality. The Girl Up chapter has promoted events such as Girl Hero Day, and started its own charitable movement by helping provide female Lebanese refugees with basic life necessities such as toiletries, clothes, and food.
Another Hale Education Group student who dreams of becoming an actuarial scientist in order to help developing countries manage risk effectively, successfully founded the charity ‘Cricket for a Cause’. Ashar Yahya is a Pakistani student at Dubai College and founded the first charity cricket league in Dubai. Last Ramadan, he raised nearly AED 55,000 (USD 15,000) for Dubai Cares and securing sponsorship from big brand names such as Pepsi, Red Bull, Du, and Pringles.
The high school student innovators see opportunities for community development in a range of ways: Dhruv Karthik created a drone that can effectively navigate indoor environments and understand their surroundings as a tool for the emergency services, and Vania Constantinou has founded a club to teach staff members in her school community English.
Peter Davos, Founder of Hale Education Group, explains “We encourage the students to identify how they can stand out as residents of the UAE and add value to the community they live in; it is not simply about having a strong college application; it is about the students demonstrating a sense of social responsibility, leadership, and personal growth, which are indeed qualities that university admissions officers look for.” Davos adds, “The Year of Giving 2017 is a worthy initiative from the UAE government that reinforces the qualities and attributes of a socially conscious individual. For our students, it’s important to have more than just academic qualifications, they must show a consistent commitment to demonstrating the softer skills by thinking of others to make a better society.”
*Notes: Please refer to document ‘Hale Innovators’ for additional information on the students.
About Hale Education Group
Hale Education Group (HEG) is the leading independent educational consultancy in the GCC focusing on US university admissions. The Group provides college admissions counseling to Emirati and international students seeking admission to the full spectrum of US universities and colleges. HEG’s innovative model has evolved from a deep background and broad experience in admissions counseling in the United States. HEG centers its services on providing intensive one-on-one counseling and guidance to students in every aspect of US college admissions, based on the philosophy if finding the right “fit.” Hale’s mission is to guide and empower students seeking to realize their maximum personal, academic, and professional potential through the pursuit of American higher education.
Hale Education Group employs an entire team of American university professionals with relevant firsthand admissions experience, education, and knowledge. HEG’s admissions counseling model is highly personalized, as all sessions are conducted one-on-one with students. The team is composed of highly qualified American counselors with advanced degrees. Hale Education Group’s offices are located in Dubai Silicon Oasis and in Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. To date Hale students have received acceptances from over 150 US universities, in addition to over 100 million dirhams in merit scholarships.
To cultivate and guide the holistic development of students, helping them to achieve their fullest potential through the empowerment of American higher education.
About Peter Y. Davos, Founder and Managing Director
Peter is a first generation college graduate, born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a double major, from Johns Hopkins University and spent his junior year abroad completing the General Course in International Relations at the London School of Economics.
Peter holds Master’s Degrees from Oxford University (Lady Margaret Hall) and Harvard University (Graduate School of Design), where he was selected Marshal of his class and received numerous national, international, and university scholarships/honors, including the GSD Alumni Council Book Prize and the Colloredo-Mansfeld Prize for Superior Achievement in Real Estate Studies.
He has completed UCLA’s Certificate in College Counseling with Distinction and IECA’s Summer Training Institute. Peter is a governing board member of the North American International School in Dubai and has served as a Johns Hopkins Alumni Interviewer for over fourteen years. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Council, Second Decade Society, and founder/co-president of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Society of the UAE.
A proud member of the HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association), OACAC (Overseas Association for College Admissions Counseling), HASUAE (Harvard Alumni Society of the UAE), and American Business Council of Dubai, Peter is widely considered to be the authority on US university admissions in the GCC. He was a contributing writer on US Education issues for Gulf News and has lived in Dubai in 2010.