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Posts Tagged ‘Jackson Casey Fund’

Sabrina Shah 2013Sabrina Shah intends to create a safe and healthy future for developing children. With the financial assistance of a $3,000 Jackson Casey Fund/ThanksUSA scholarship, Sabrina is completing her final year of undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Since 2009, Sabrina has received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $12,000. In just a few months, she will earn degrees in both Psychology and Media & Communication Studies.

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Sabrina’s interest in psychology began early. She often read articles or watched videos that focused on the subject. When she enrolled in an AP Psychology class in high school, Sabrina realized that she wasn’t merely learning facts; she truly understood and enjoyed every psychology lesson that was being taught.

After exploring several disciplines, Sabrina decided to focus on developmental psychology. Even as a teen, she was starting to realize that “troubled” students were the result of their environment.

Kinza & Sabrina Shah

Kinza & Sabrina Shah

Sabrina is most interested in combining her majors to study the effects of media on the social development of children. Through her studies and research, she has realized that media can be used to promote focus and learning in the classroom.

One of Sabrina’s most fascinating research projects involved pediatric cancer patients. Her team created virtual reality helmets that patients wore during treatments. Watching positive imagery produced a calming effect that distracted the young children during painful or scary treatments. Sabrina believes that the use of such media can actually alleviate or prevent psychological trauma.

Though she is always eager to experiment with, and learn from, different fields of psychology, Sabrina reports that she always returns to developmental psychology. Like most enthusiastic students, Sabrina belongs to groups and clubs that enhance her learning experience. She is member of the UMBC Philosophy Club and the Psychology Honors Society (Psi Chi), and has participated in the Model UN since high school.

Besides study related activities, Sabrina devotes much of her time to charitable organizations. She is most involved with Challah for Hunger, which raises funds to fight hunger and poverty through the sale of homemade challah bread.

As she nears graduation, Sabrina is preparing to continue her education, possibly at Cornell University, with the intention of earning her PhD in Developmental Psychology. With such dedication to both her major field of study and helping others through her charitable work, Sabrina is likely to impact many lives.

I think it’s important to note that Sabrina is not the only successful collegiate in her family. In 2006, her older brother, Zain, received a $5,000 ThanksUSA scholarship for his studies at Brooklyn College. Zain is now pursuing a career in computer engineering. Younger sister, Kinza, is off to a great start at Towson University where she is majoring in Speech Pathology.

Sabrina, her mother Tasneem, and sister Kinza

Sabrina, her mother Tasneem, and sister Kinza

As Sabrina prepares for graduate school, Kinza is preparing to apply for a 2013-2014 ThanksUSA scholarship. Applications will be accepted between April 1 and May 15, 2013, and potential applicants are encouraged to register for a reminder.

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Hannah SolemWith a smile that radiates with positive energy, ThanksUSA scholarship recipient Hannah Solem can brighten any day. As a Speech Communications major at Liberty University, Hannah’s goal is to become the voice of advocacy for orphans.

Now in her junior year of studies, Hannah has received consecutive ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $9,000. This year, the Army dependent was awarded a $3,000 Jackson Casey Fund/ThanksUSA Scholarship. Since Hannah is responsible for financing her own education, she is especially grateful for the continued aid provided by ThanksUSA supporters.

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“I am aware that much will be required of those who have been given much.  Having been entrusted with this scholarship, it is my ambition to use my gifts to give back to others.”

Hannah is certainly deserving of your support. She has an impeccable academic record and is eager to encourage others to commit their time to volunteerism. During the summer, Hannah works with high school aged volunteers at the Officers’ Christian Fellowship retreat, White Sulfur Springs Conference Center. During the academic year, she serves as a Student Leader for her residence hall where she leads group studies and offers one on one counseling to freshman students.

Not only have these roles provided guidance to others, they have also given Hannah valuable logistics and planning experience while allowing her to develop a comforting style of communication. She has such a sincere personality, that one instantly feels at ease speaking with her.

Hannah’s academic goals began to take root during a trip to China with Show Hope ministries. In 2008, she visited orphanages in Luoyang and Beijing where she cared for disabled orphans. The experience inspired her to use her talents and energy to help families navigate the adoption process. Hannah can see herself using her education and knowledge as a public relations specialist for adoption agencies. For now, she is concentrating on understanding the needs of children in orphan care and recently hosted a seminar on their nutritional needs.

When asked about her own family, Hannah praises her parents, Helen and LTC Greg Solem, USA, for being exceptional role models to herself and her four brothers. She describes her mother as a humble spirit and her father as a dedicated man. Hannah says that her family always puts the Lord first and feel blessed to have each other.

Ultimately, Hannah hopes that her education will lead to a career that will unite children with loving parents like her own. Whether you are able to celebrate in person or in spirit this year, ThanksUSA wishes our supporters and military families a very happy holiday season. We encourage you to continue your support of our mission by making your tax-deductible contribution today.

“Thank you for your contribution to military personnel and their families. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated. With a grateful heart, I will joyfully represent the Jackson Casey Fund and ThanksUSA scholarship.”

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