LEO Scholars

Omar Hamad

“My name is Omar Hamad. My family is originally from Jerusalem, my mother and four siblings live alone in Amman, Jordan, while my father supports us financially to the best of his ability and has another family now. I attended The Jubilee School in Jordan on a scholarship and graduated top in my class in the Baccalaureate exams. Through the LE.O support process, I applied to schools in the US and was accepted to the University of Rochester. I am very happy to have the opportunity to receive a universuty education and to study at Rochester, where I plan to major in Mechanical Engineering and continue to pursue my interests in Graphic Design and Publication.”

Sief Addeen Fuad Atari

“I grew up in Amman, Jordan. I attended the Jubilee High school where I achieved good grades and was very involved with environmental protection projects . Last year, my father lost the only job that brought income to our family and we have been dealing with many hardships ever since. My father, who is 60, has resorted to working as a freelancer making financial budgets for small companies as it is very hard to find jobs at his age. With no fixed income and little savings, my family has been struggling to make ends meet. It is very important for me to attend university and gain an education to be able to support my family. When I connected with LE.O they were incredibly supportive throughout my college application process. With their help, I was accepted into The University of Bridgeport where I plan to major in Electrical engineering and continue to follow my passion for Soccer.”

Mahmoud El Khattib

“I was Raised in the Ein El Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon and I am of Palestinian descent. Through the Cogito scholarship foundation I earned a
scholarship to attend Eton College in Berkshire,UK, for my senior years of Highschool. The CSF, partners of LE.O, connected me with the LE.O mentoring division who would go on to fully support my every step of the college application and selection process. Through the help of LE.O I was accepted into the University of British Columbia, Canada where I plan on studying to become a doctor. LE.O prepared me for college while facilitating and helping me with my visa applications, paying for travel and running webinars to acclimate me to the educational experience and much more.”

Fuad Abu Heit

“I come from the Al- Baddawi refugee camp in Lebanon. Throughout my life I have struggled with poverty and undergone many hardships. While my mother supports us to some degree with her government teaching job, my father is unable to find a work simply because he is Palestinian. Even with a job he will be paid significantly less than the national average in the same position ,so he must work as a freelance tutor. I hope to someday be able to return to my family with the knowledge and capabilities to support them. I received a scholarship through Horizons,UK to attend Eton College, UK. Through Horizon’s partnership with LE.O I received college prep guidance and applied to colleges and universities in the US. I received a generous scholarship from The University of Rochester where I intend to major in computer Science.”

Rami Kuttab

“My name is Rami, I was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. Throughout my life, my parents have always supported me in every way possible to achieve my goals in life. My brother and I have always been raised to put education before anything else and to excel in life and try to do our best in everything. I have always been interested in technology, art, sports and graphic designing and with the help of the LE.O organization I was able to earn a scholarship to attend Syracuse University and pursue my education in the States. As a result, I am looking forward to pursuing a bachelor degree in Computer Science with a minor in video game creation and hope to continue playing basketball.”

Mohammed Abumuaileq

“I am Mohammed Abumuaileq, a seventeen-year-old Palestinian. Reading is my number one passion for I love the transcendence I feel when I read the words on pages of the book. Furthermore, I have always been determined to give back to my community; volunteering has been an essential activity in my life. I want to major in Biomedical Engineering. What fueled my passion towards this field is seeing the casualties from the last three bombardments I had witnessed. In other words, I feel obligated to help those victims through using my skills in this field when I start working as a bioengineer. I come from a big family; I have four sisters and one brother. In addition, my paternal grandmother lives in the same house as us. My oldest sister has been married for over a year, and two of my sisters have graduated from college but still live in the family home. Moreover, my fourth sister and my only brother are still in college. My father works as a civil engineer in a construction company, and my mother is a housewife.”

How LE•O Helped:

LE•O, along with partners OIP and AIS in Gaza worked with Mohammed to best prepare him for SAT testing, essay writing and with college selection .We are happy to announce that LE.O helped him secure a scholarship to attend The University of Rochester.

Marah Abdin

I was born to a Palestinian family in the city of Jerusalem. Throughout my life, even though my parents never got the chance to attend college, my two sisters and I have always been raised to put education before anything else and to understand that it is our voice in this world. I have always been interested in technology and the marvelous revolution it has caused, and I had the opportunity to develop this interest at Al Nayzak Organization for Supportive Education and Scientific Innovation. As a result, I am looking forward to pursuing a bachelor degree of science in Computer and Electrical Engineering.

How LE•O Helped:

After self-studying the SATs and with the help of the Leonard Education Organization (LE•O), I was offered a full scholarship to study at the University of Rochester. It was through Al Nayzak organization that I was introduced to LE•O and had this chance. Hopefully, this opportunity will make a great and a very significant change in my life and education.

Yazan Meqbil 

“My name is Yazan Meqbil. I was recently accepted at Goshen College, Indiana and will enter this Fall. After I had graduated from high school, I quickly decided that I wanted to study engineering. However, after I had taken a gap year and profoundly considered my experiences, I decided to double major in both Engineering and International studies. I did not want to choose one major and leave the other one and regret it in the future, so I decided it would be best for me to combine both degrees from different fields. This is resembling of my passion for education. I took general courses at Ivy Tech, with the hope of preparing myself academically and socially to transfer to a four-year college.

There are multiple reasons that boost my passion for education. My background is perhaps my most powerful driving force. I am a Palestinian refugee who lives in area C, which is under complete Israeli authority, next to an Israeli settlement. For years, my family has continuously been threatened that our house would be demolished. Thus far, we have received 10 demolition orders to our house. With this harsh political reality and even harsher economic circumstances, I am gifted with parents who share my passion for education. My father, who lost his education due to the first Palestinian uprising, always presses the value of education. My mother was also unable to continue her education due to her family financial situation. They planted this profound love for education in me, as if I embody both of their dreams; as if me, continuing my education is a fulfillment of all they ever desired.  This passion towards education helped me keep high grades that gave me the chance to stay the first in my class till 11th grade. My academic excellence gave me the chance to represent my school in different events. I was also selected for English Access Microscholarship program back in 2010. I stayed on the honors list at my different schools for seven years.

Education for me is not restricted to the classroom. Since I was a little kid, I had a passion toward leadership training, speeches and summer camps. I genuinely liked meeting new people. I consequently participated in different summer camps in Palestine, which helped develop my personality and offered me the platforms to voice my own struggle and story. In 2012 I spent one week in an extensive leadership program funded by ActionAid Denmark. They helped fund me to form “Local association for youth-Beit Ommar,” which focused on empowering teenagers and giving them enough skills to be effective leaders and help their own communities. All of those experiences helped me make the decision to apply to Seeds of Peace Summer Camp in the United States, which I attended in 2013.

I chose to pursue my bachelor’s degree in the United States for many reasons. First, this will offer me the opportunity to pursue a double-major. When it comes to international studies, many American colleges are leading institutions. Second, I am always introduced to new experiences, perspectives, networks, and even books, which help me shape the person I want to be. Upon graduating from high school with a 92.3% average, I decided to take a year off to prepare myself, academically and socially, to study in the U.S. After fighting to secure enough funds to pay for my TOEFL and SAT preparatory exams, I could not secure enough funds and scholarships to come to a four-year college. Considering our financial hardships, my parents cannot cover any of my education’s costs. Eventually, with overwhelming help from many people, I secured enough funds to travel to the U.S. and start attending Ivy-Tech Community College. During my gap year, I worked hard in different jobs to secure some money to pay for my summer semester’s tuition.”

How LE•O Helped:

LE•O offered me the opportunity to apply to a four-year college to continue my studies in the U.S. They arranged my finances and scholarships. I am grateful for their support and guidance. Through LE•O I have a mentor assigned to help me with my college applications and now I am moving into my next step in my education.