Shareef Sawalhi, Lackawanna High School, Lackawanna, NY
Electronics and Computer Technology Program, Erie 1 BOCES Harkness Center, Cheektowaga, NY
Shareef Sawalhi from Lackawanna High School is enrolled in the Electronics and Computer Technology program at the Erie 1 BOCES Harkness Center, Cheektowaga, NY for half of his school day. Shareef plans to attend college to study Electronic or Computer Engineering and plans to become a software developer. Shareef Sawalhi has been a student in the Electronics and Computer Technology program for nearly two years. The program is quite rigorous and is comparable in many ways to a two-year associate degree in electrical engineering. Shareef is academically ranked near the top in this class.
Shareef is self-motivated and can be relied upon to complete a job “on time”. The quality of his work is excellent, and it meets or exceeds industry standards. Two personal traits that distinguish Shareef from all the others are that he begins his workday immediately upon arrival at school (he does not sit around waiting for the bell to ring) and he often spends part of his day helping his classmates by explaining technical matters or assisting them in the course of their lab activities.
Thomas Isula, Electronics & Computer Technology Instructor, at the Harkness Center says, “During my 37-year tenure, very few students have demonstrated the potential for success, knowledge, skills and compassion that Shareef possesses. It is for these reasons that Shareef has earned my "superior" recommendation.” He is very deserving of the CTE Presidential Scholars nomination.”
Shareef is an outstanding student who is currently ranked 18 in a class of 151 at Lackawanna High School. He is anticipated to receive an Advanced Regents diploma. Shareef is a leader and student ambassador at Lackawanna High School. He is always looking to take the lead whether it is helping students with academics, tutoring younger students through the Y.W.C.A., or participating in school events. Shareef has exceptional character traits and has been nominated by different educators as having the best character in our student body. Shareef is a well-rounded young man. He is a member of the LHS Varsity Football team, National Honor Society, and Varsity Club. Other activities that Shareef has been involved in include participating in the Chemical Engineering camp at the University of Buffalo, and SOLO Learn (an online class for learning computer programming) in addition, he volunteers at ACCESS of WNY, the Y.W.C.A., and various National Honor Society projects. Shareef also enjoys doing construction and renovation projects, working and volunteering at the Buffalo Naval & Military Park.
Senator Tim Kennedy said, “I was thrilled to learn that Interim Commissioner Tahoe nominated Shareef Sawalhi, a student at Lackawanna High School, for the prestigious U. S. Presidential Scholars Excellence in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program. I was proud to recommend Shareef for this recognition because he continues to serve as a leader, both in the classroom and in his community. Congratulations to Shareef and the entire Sawalhi family on this well-deserved honor, and best of luck as the selection process continues.”
The NYSED news-release about the Presidential Scholars nominations noted that Assemblymember Pat Burke said, “I am extremely proud of Shareef Sawalhi from Lackawanna High School for being nominated by Interim Commissioner Tahoe for the Presidential Scholars Program. Shareef sets an example as someone who has only lived in the United States for four years, but who has courageously committed himself to being involved in the community and finding ways to make a positive impact, whether it’s among his peers or the younger students he mentors. His dedication to excellence both in and outside the classroom makes him incredibly deserving of the honor of being a U.S. Presidential Scholar.”