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When not concentrating on his academics or keeping seemingly endless medical appointments, or working one of several paid jobs, Najib devotes his time to helping fellow Afghani refugees settle into Greater Boston, (including Cambridge and Arlington), translating from native Pashto and Dari languages to English and interpreting between the doctors, lawyers and community services.
He says, “not only do I help my community navigate the mundanity of everyday life, but I also want my own lived experience to serve as a guide to confront past and future fears and challenges…” The lived experience to which he refers includes coming to Boston Children’s Hospital, sponsored by an NGO, to receive continued surgical treatment for injuries sustained when he was shot with a signal flare fired by NATO troops in his village in southeastern Afghanistan.
Najib plans to pursue an interdisciplinary course of study of psychology, philosophy and business, and applying his education to making a positive impact towards creating a more equitable and peaceful society.
While a sophomore at CRLS, Simone partnered with other environmental activists to create a youth-led climate education organization called Spring Forward, to address what she identified as gaps in education they were getting about climate change, but also to organize and empower her fellow students to take systemic action. Spring Forward has grown to reach over 2000 students in Greater Boston, created 200+ lessons to be infused into K-12 science curricula in collaboration with teachers.
She has also been the president of CRLS’s Environmental Action Club, and facilitated environmental organizing workshops.
She will be majoring in Environmental Studies at Colorado College, where she wants to focus on solutions to address the inequalities in the climate crisis and its intersections with other social justice issues.
In her ninth grade history class, Zuri noticed that there seemed to be an imbalance in the contributions of African Americans to U.S. History other than what was taught during Black History Month. She was also concerned that as as a result many of her classmates had misunderstandings about history. As a sophomore she collaborated with several students and under the guidance of a CRLS history teacher she co-founded the African American Studies Initiative. The Initiative has produced a series of lessons on Urban History and Policy and got an approved course on the topic added to the offerings at CRLS . In addition to the lessons, Zuri researched supplementary reading material accessible to students and teachers on the project’s website.
This year the District’s History Department has been engaged in a comprehensive review of the K-12 curriculum and has incorporated the material produced by Zuri and the initiative. Also her activism and unifying style supported the school’s decision to keep the topics that the College Board excised from the AP course on African American Studies.
She is a recognized leader, who plans to major in history and political science.
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