HOUSTON – May 16, 2016 – U.S. Secretary of Education John King announced that Mohammad Rahim, a senior at Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, has been named a 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Rahim is one of 160 graduating seniors nationwide selected for the recognition, which honors students for demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community. They will be honored for their achievement in Washington D. C. June 19-21.
Although he had applied for the scholars program, Rahim said he was surprised to learn of his selection because it is such an honor to be among the first Career and Technical Education students to be selected.
“I didn’t really see it coming,” he said. “I am very happy and excited about the opportunity.”
The U.S. Presidential Scholar Program was created in 1964 and has since been expanded twice – first in 1979 to include visual, literary and performing arts, and again in 2015 to include Career and Technical Education (CTE). Rahim is among the first 20 CTE students to receive this award.
Since 1983 honorees have had the opportunity to name their most influential teacher. Rahim chose to recognize Austin Hayward who taught engineering design at Wunsche before becoming a technology academy coordinator at the school.
Rahim recalls his first day at Wunsche when he entered Hayward’s class as a sophomore. “Walking in, I knew it would be interesting from the first day. Throughout the year he pushed us to go past our boundaries. I appreciate how enthusiastic and passionate he is. Now he has upgraded to be an academy coordinator and still serves as an enthusiastic supporter and mentor to us.”
Hayward’s enthusiasm and passion for his work may be what has impressed Rahim the most. He offers this advice to other students: “Find something you really believe in and be passionate for it.”
For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program, go to www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/.