2009 JET Scholarship Winner

From left to right: Ryan Moore (JETAANC), Abdul Hamid Mollah (Faisal’s father), Lenore Espanola (JETAANC), Douglas Shelton (JETAANC), Faisal Hamid (scholarship winner), Gary Mukai (JETAANC)

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association of Northern California (JETAANC) is proud to announce the winner of its 2009 scholarship for high school seniors. Faisal Hamid, a recent graduate of Mills High School in Millbrae, was awarded the $1,000 scholarship. Faisal will be attending Yale this fall.

“We were impressed by Faisal’s ability to make time to pursue his interest in Japanese while balancing a demanding class load and an impressive variety of extracurricular activities,” said Douglas Shelton, Scholarship Coordinator for JETAANC. “More than just an interest in the language, Faisal has shown a commitment to building understanding across all cultures and his interest in Japanese is just one component of that.”

Faisal has a passion for languages and appreciates the subtleties of culture that are reflected in the spoken word. In addition to completing up to Japanese 7 at his high school, Faisal enrolled in a speaking course that was offered by the Japan Society of Northern California. He has also taken Arabic courses and speaks Bengali, the language of Bangladesh, his country of birth.

As co-president of Mills’ Students Organizing Against Prejudice (SOAP), Faisal delivered speeches encouraging tolerance to the student body. The co-presidency was just one of the many leadership positions that Faisal held in high school. He was editor-in-chief of Thunderbolt, the Mills High School newspaper, for two years, served as president of the Mills Mock Trial Club, and was co-president of the school’s Model United Nations Club.

While incoming freshmen do not declare majors at Yale, Faisal has expressed an interest in focusing on history. He also intends to take advantage of study abroad opportunities at Yale, which has in recent years been making a strong push to support students who wish to study abroad in Asia.

JETAANC Scholarship applicants are evaluated on a number of criteria including a demonstrated interest in Japan, Japanese language or Japanese culture, as well as academic accomplishments, a personal essay and recommendations.