Amazing Students

Sahl Hakim

Sahl Hakim’s passion lies with putting other people first, and it shows through his mentoring with Freshman Forum and his enthusiasm as a tour guide with the Visitors Center, also know as “the happiest place on campus.”

Hometown:

Lawrenceville, Georgia

High School:

Mountain View High School

Degree objective:

B.S. in biology and B.S. in psychology

Other degrees:

Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership

Expected graduation:

May 2017

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with three organizations throughout my college career: the Dawg Camp, Freshman Forum and the UGA Visitors Center. I can say without a doubt in my mind that I would not be the person I am today had I not been involved with these organizations.

Dawg Camp helped me open up to all the things UGA had to offer. I came in to college as an awkward, shy first year but I’ve grown so much from then. Special shoutout to my counselor Nikita for forcing me to hang out with her and showing me how fun college could be!

Freshman Forum gave me my first family on campus. I looked forward to Monday nights because I was surrounded with so many amazing friends and mentors. Forum gave me so much freshman year and now I have the opportunity to give back. I currently mentor a group of the greatest first-years on this campus. I see myself in all of them and it brings me so much joy to see them give back to the community. There’s a huge sense of pride in knowing how much they’re going to accomplish and I’m just honored I get to be a part of their journeys.

The UGA Visitors Center is the happiest place on campus for a reason. That place is filled with the most inspiring and passionate people. I’m in awe of all the things my peers are accomplishing. Eric Johnson and Natalie Mann, the directors of the VC, have this ability to find the most amazing individuals on this campus. They took a chance on me freshman year. I was terrified of public speaking and meeting new people, but they along with the best mentors inspired me and helped me grow. The VC has taught me four things to live by: be safe, be kind, be authentic, and most importantly be remarkable.

Current Employment:

University of Georgia Visitors Center

Family Ties to UGA:

I am the first person in my family to come to UGA but that hasn’t stopped me from forcing my parents to become Dawg fans too!

I chose to attend UGA because…

… as a senior in high school, I allowed senioritis to take over me. Not knowing a whole lot about the college application process, I applied to UGA through the early action process. I was accepted and decided to not apply anywhere else which turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. Obviously this isn’t the most inspiring story about why I chose UGA, but I can’t imagine the past four years of my life anywhere else.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

… simply walk through campus. I try to avoid taking the bus for two reasons. One is to burn off Panda Express calories and two is because this campus is beautiful. I love walking through North Campus or walking past Sanford Stadium or walking on the trails behind Lake Herrick. Every single part of campus has its own personality and it’s cool to see how different every part is.

When I have free time, I like…

… shamelessly watching old episodes of “The Office.” If I’m not doing that, I’m hanging out with the people that make this place so special. So that means I’m grabbing a bite to eat with friends, throwing a football around, or literally just sitting around and talking.

The craziest thing I've done is…

… drive across the country over spring break with two of my best friends. We drove on America’s Loneliest Road, camped out in the Redwoods, and biked around the rim of the Grand Canyon. Still blows my mind that we were able to fit all that in the span of a week!

My favorite place to study is…

Deep down I will admit that my favorite place to study is the fourth floor of the MLC, but you have to get past memories of exhaustion and lack of sleep to get there. It made studying easier when I knew some of my friends would be there too so they could share in my misery.

My favorite professor is…

… Dr. Jodi Barnes. I met Dr. Barnes last semester through my ILA course and I could tell how much she cared for her students. She made it a point to know everyone’s names and she made her students feel like they were listened to. She’s ever so slightly quirky but it makes every conversation that much more interesting. She goes beyond just being a teacher and I know I speak on behalf of so many others when I say that we’re all so thankful for her!

The other people aren’t professors, but my bosses at the Visitors Center (EJ, Natalie, and Mrs. Terri) have also taught me so much. I know they single handedly changed the trajectory of my college career. They’ve watched me grow up and constantly supported me and pushed me to succeed. I owe them so much!

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

… Kobe Bryant or Tom Brady. I won’t expand on why I’d want hang out with Tom Brady because of fear of massive backlash after the Super Bowl so I’ll talk instead about Kobe. I’d love to pick his brain about so many things whether it be his level of dedication or his ability to be calm under pressure. Obviously it’d be pretty awesome if we played a game of one-on-one too.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… build a house for my parents back in their home of Kashmir, India. I know how much they miss being there so I’d love to do that for them. They’ve given up so much for me and supported me throughout my life so making that happen would be a dream come true.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

… travel. I know that’s fairly cliche but I have a fascination with the world. I love seeing pictures of exotic places. There is so much diversity in the world, whether it be culture or food or even the wildlife, and I feel like I’ve only seen the smallest glimpse of it all.

What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?

My passion lies with putting other people first. My parents instilled generosity and humility in me from an early age. I saw them always willing to help out and go the extra mile for others. That always stuck out to me. I also love working with kids. I try to act like an adult in public, but I’m truly just a child at heart. My ultimate goal is to become a pediatrician because it combines my love for helping people and working with children. Getting to shadow Dr. Ingrid Newman, a pediatrician in Watkinsville, this summer was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to see her work with children anywhere from a month old to middle-schoolers. I knew that’s what I wanted to do because every time I walked in the building, I was excited and happy to be there.

After graduation, I plan to…

… attend medical school. It’s been my dream since I was little to be a doctor and I will do everything in my power to make that dream a reality.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

… winning the intramural co-rec flag football championship in Sanford Stadium. I don’t think there are too many people outside of the UGA football players that can say that they’ve played football in Sanford. The past couple of years our team got so close to getting to the championship but we were stopped short. This year we got over the hump and won it all. It was close through the entire game but we pulled out a victory. That winning feeling will never leave me and I know I’ll never forget that night!

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