"As someone who dreams to one day to be a doctor, I feel as though neuroscience was a good fit for me..."

"I chose to major in neuroscience as I felt it would allow me to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the human brain, as well as give me some insight into determining why people act the way they act. As someone who dreams to one day to be a doctor (specifically, a neurosurgeon), I feel as though neuroscience was a good fit for me because it effectively gives me a head start on learning what I can about a certain part of the human body, as well as allows me to try and understand more about how and why exactly people think, learn, and do. In addition, I am fascinated by the recent attempts to develop artificial intelligence in a manner that emulates the way the neurons in the brain communicate with one another, and as a self-taught software developer, my major allows me to utilize the information I learn in order to further understand the newest endeavors that occur within the world of technology.” -George Saieed, UChicago


"I can pursue an engineering career and hopefully make my mark on the world and the renewable energy industry."

"My name is Youssef ElSaadawy and I have now been fortunate enough to be under the EEF scholarship for the past year. Once I had received my university acceptances as well as the good news that I would be receiving a scholarship from the EEF, I ultimately chose to pursue my dreams of becoming an engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The reason I chose to do so was so that I can eventually work in the renewable energy industry and help other engineers and companies across the globe in the worldwide mission of advancing renewable energy, making it more sustainable in all countries and for all people. I have really enjoyed every day at university so far and am indeed only thankful for the opportunity the EEF has brought forth to me so that I can pursue an engineering career and hopefully make my mark on the world and the renewable energy industry." -Youssef El Saadawy, Georgia Tech.


"Questioning what speaks to me and makes me feel the most engaged has been challenging, but it has ultimately led me to what I feel is the right academic and intellectual home for me in college"

"My course of study has changed quite a bit from what I initially thought that I would study in college. Heavily influenced by some of the general classes I was required to take in my first two years, as well as my interest in analyzing literature and writing all throughout my schooling, questioning what speaks to me and makes me feel the most engaged has been challenging, but it has ultimately led me to what I feel is the right academic and intellectual home for me in college: Fundamentals. The Fundamentals major is a small, interdisciplinary program that focuses on rigorous inquiry, textual analysis, and academic writing. Every student chooses a question that guides his or her time in the major, and I am interested in exploring how our beliefs (religious, political, social, moral) influence, change, perpetuate, create, and destroy socio-political systems. I hope to pursue a PhD after I graduate and enter academia." - Katherine Kamel, UChicago


"– and I hope to continue to maintain room in my schedule to explore further, even as my focus narrows and my schedule becomes more tailored to the major I choose."

"Going into my freshman year at Yale University, I, of course, had fields of interest. Certain subjects that had long sparked my passion in high school, and that I had explored as much as I could over the course of those years. I was most at home in a lab – and spent many hours there in the years and months before graduating. Given that, it was almost natural that I’d explore molecular, cellular, and developmental biology once I arrived. But more than that, I made a commitment to fully examine the breadth of options that were suddenly before me – more than I’d ever had access to as a high school students. Over the past year, I have taken classes ranging from The Moral Foundations of Politics to Astrophysics to Introductory Statistics to Words and Pictures. This freedom to explore various fields as I begin my college career has been invaluable to me – and I hope to continue to maintain room in my schedule to explore further, even as my focus narrows and my schedule becomes more tailored to the major I choose. That guided exploration is an opportunity for which I am eternally grateful." -Deena Mousa, Yale Univesity.

"Without a doubt, this has been an awesome privilege to apply my biological knowledge directly to such a significant and hope-generating cause."

"Coming into Stanford, I knew one thing for sure:  I had a true passion for biology and chemistry.  Having spent two years performing independent biological research and cherishing each of my high school chemistry classes, I undoubtedly knew that my college career would be immersed in these diverse and fascinating subjects.  That is why I chose biology with a concentration in biochemistry and biophysics as my Stanford major.  For the past three years, I have enjoyed a diverse array of classes ranging from organic chemistry to neurobiology, biochemistry, and genetic analysis, and have gained a well-rounded and nuanced perspective of the natural world.  One of my most influential experiences has been working in a stem cell research lab in the neurosurgery department of Stanford Medical School.  Here, I have eagerly spent two full years characterizing and optimizing stem cell-derived neuron transplants for treatment of permanent spinal cord injury.  Without a doubt, this has been an awesome privilege to apply my biological knowledge directly to such a significant and hope-generating cause.  In addition, I have also developed a passion for community service during my time here at Stanford.  By volunteering in medical campaigns abroad as well as community health clinics in the bay area of California, I have relished the unique opportunity to directly engage with and assist hundreds of individuals of various backgrounds.  Today, it is now obvious to me that my love of biology, chemistry, and public service is well-suited to a career in medicine or medical research.  Currently, I am applying to medical school where I hope to master what I love while simultaneously improving the lives of others." (Image: Doing clinical volunteering for underserved communities in Nicaragua) -Joseph Allan Kirollos, Stanford University

"Coming into Stanford, I knew one thing for sure:  I had a true passion for biology and chemistry.  Having spent two years performing independent biological research and cherishing each of my high school chemistry classes, I undoubtedly knew that my college career would be immersed in these diverse and fascinating subjects.  That is why I chose biology with a concentration in biochemistry and biophysics as my Stanford major.  For the past three years, I have enjoyed a diverse array of classes ranging from organic chemistry to neurobiology, biochemistry, and genetic analysis, and have gained a well-rounded and nuanced perspective of the natural world.  One of my most influential experiences has been working in a stem cell research lab in the neurosurgery department of Stanford Medical School.  Here, I have eagerly spent two full years characterizing and optimizing stem cell-derived neuron transplants for treatment of permanent spinal cord injury.  Without a doubt, this has been an awesome privilege to apply my biological knowledge directly to such a significant and hope-generating cause.  In addition, I have also developed a passion for community service during my time here at Stanford.  By volunteering in medical campaigns abroad as well as community health clinics in the bay area of California, I have relished the unique opportunity to directly engage with and assist hundreds of individuals of various backgrounds.  Today, it is now obvious to me that my love of biology, chemistry, and public service is well-suited to a career in medicine or medical research.  Currently, I am applying to medical school where I hope to master what I love while simultaneously improving the lives of others." (Image: Doing clinical volunteering for underserved communities in Nicaragua) -Joseph Allan Kirollos, Stanford University

" When I come back to those times, I do my best to do what has helped: to ask others, explore what I can, think as much as is healthy, feel as much as is wise, and above all, not worry (too much!)"

"In my schooling before college, I always felt lucky, as I deeply knew that I wanted to be an engineer. Ever since I was little, I loved to take machines apart, and daydream about fantastical contraptions I could create. I felt at home tinkering in a workshop, or coding behind a computer, or sketching in a notebook. Over time, I gained a vague preference towards what was physical rather than digital, and went into university planning to be a mechanical engineer.

I (as nearly everyone does) quickly began to lose myself in college. Subjects which I thought I would dislike turned out to be fascinating. The first class of my major felt uninteresting and more difficult than any class before. Everyday I questioned what I was doing, and why I was doing it. The more confused I became, the more I questioned why I was pursuing engineering at all. After so much time, my desired "major" had become not just a career choice, but a part of my identity, which made this all the more challenging

Over time, I made choices and grew more confident in the path I wanted to take. To make those decisions, I found that five things helped:

1. Asking - In a new place, one of the hardest things to do can be to ask for help. But more often than not, upperclassmen, advisers, and professors are happy to give advice. While no journey is the same, there's a lot of guidance in those around you.

2. Exploring - My favorite classes thus far have been those which I've taken out of random curiosity. Four years gives time to experiment with classes and see what excites you before declaring a major. Beyond school, extracurriculars and internships are among the best ways to explore interests, giving the chance to put knowledge to practice.

3. Thinking - Beyond the enjoyment that making things brought me, more questions needed to be satisfied - both personal and practical. What did I hope to achieve in my career? How could I best benefit others? What could I see myself doing in the future? These questions are often best answered through introspection, helped with journals or lists, but kept in check before you think for too long!

4. Feeling - No matter what others said, no matter how loud thoughts could be - I would be hard pressed to make a decision that my "gut" was not behind. Your gut is the sum of all your perceptions and intuitions. While not infallible, it deserves tremendous respect.

5. Don't Worry (too much) - This one was the least useful to a worrying me, and will be the least useful for anyone reading this who is worrying about a decision, but is likely the most important. Some decisions are significant at the time without a doubt. But it's helpful to remember that you can't predict what your story will be, no person can predict your path for you, and your life will never be set in stone.

I am still a mechanical engineer, now with a better understanding of my interests and goals. Some days I feel filled with passion and drive; all four years mapped out, every step of my career chiseled, just as planned. Other times I'm right back to questioning everything from the start, fumbling for a way forward. When I come back to those times, I do my best to do what has helped: to ask others, explore what I can, think as much as is healthy, feel as much as is wise, and above all, not worry (too much!)."   -M.F., MIT.


"Seeing the robot progress through these stages from designs in CAD to real functioning mechanisms was truly incredible..."

"My exposure to Robotics through the Gunn Robotics Team has been a definitive part of shaping my current interest in mechanical engineering. The Robotics team allowed me to get hands-on experience and insight into what engineering will be like, and provided a way for me to discover and further pursue my passion. Throughout my time on the Robotics team, I learned valuable skills such as CAD, and machining, as well as, going through a formal design iteration process beginning with proof of concepts and prototypes, which develop into our intermediate iteration (Beta phase) leading to our most refined and final iteration (Omega phase). Seeing the robot progress through these stages from designs in CAD to real functioning mechanisms was truly incredible, and is what attracts me to engineering. After the build season was over, we took our robot, nicknamed: The Red Giant, to competitions around the country. We watched our robot perform autonomously using the range of built in mechanisms we had spent weeks working on. It was an exhilarating experience. I also enjoy competitions because I get a chance to observe other robots with different design approaches that accomplish the same tasks- another aspect of engineering I find fascinating. (Image: Our robot (team 192) during a competitive match at the Hub City Regional, TX.)" -Daniel Farid, Carnegie Mellon University. 


"I was about to send my application when a visit to our career center in Robinson Secondary completely changed my perspective."

"I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt where I went to a French school. I was very invested in the political situation, especially after the revolution. I moved with my family during the summer of 2012 to Fairfax, Virginia in the United States of America. I went to Robinson Secondary School, switching from the Egyptian and French Baccalaureate to the IB program in English. During the time I was enrolled in my Jesuit school in Cairo, as a Bac student who was interested in humanities, politics and social sciences, I had countlessly fantasized about studying in France. I used to have lengthy discussions about the international political scene and the political situation in Egypt with friends who are currently doctoral students at Sciences Po. Based on the resources they had and the methodology that I’ve seen them develop at Sciences Po, that vague dream of studying in France became much clearer and, I knew what my top choice in Europe was. When I moved to the US, I went through the normal process of looking at American universities and I was particularly impressed by Columbia due various reasons that pertained to its location in Manhattan which reminded me a little of Cairo, its prestige, its quality of education, its notorious Core curriculum as well as the atmosphere.  I started my application, I still thought about my dream of studying in France and Sciences Po but I figured I had to be realistic. I was about to send my application when a visit to our career center in Robinson Secondary completely changed my perspective. I watched in awe as the counselor described how my childhood European dream institution, Sciences Po, and my uncontested top choice in the U.S., Columbia, had a dual degree program, where I could fulfil my aspiration to study Mediterranean and Middle Eastern affairs in pastoral southern France and New York City, another city I have fallen in love with. Due to my background and personal experience, coming from the Middle East, eager to be a part of the solution in the region and aiming for a more global and understanding inter-social dynamic, Menton’s Mediterranean and Middle Eastern focus was the obvious choice, especially due to my prior knowledge of several Arabic dialects. (Image: Jamming with students from all over the world on the French Riviera.)" -Youstine Faltas, Columbia University.

"I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt where I went to a French school. I was very invested in the political situation, especially after the revolution. I moved with my family during the summer of 2012 to Fairfax, Virginia in the United States of America. I went to Robinson Secondary School, switching from the Egyptian and French Baccalaureate to the IB program in English.

During the time I was enrolled in my Jesuit school in Cairo, as a Bac student who was interested in humanities, politics and social sciences, I had countlessly fantasized about studying in France. I used to have lengthy discussions about the international political scene and the political situation in Egypt with friends who are currently doctoral students at Sciences Po. Based on the resources they had and the methodology that I’ve seen them develop at Sciences Po, that vague dream of studying in France became much clearer and, I knew what my top choice in Europe was.

When I moved to the US, I went through the normal process of looking at American universities and I was particularly impressed by Columbia due various reasons that pertained to its location in Manhattan which reminded me a little of Cairo, its prestige, its quality of education, its notorious Core curriculum as well as the atmosphere.  I started my application, I still thought about my dream of studying in France and Sciences Po but I figured I had to be realistic. I was about to send my application when a visit to our career center in Robinson Secondary completely changed my perspective. I watched in awe as the counselor described how my childhood European dream institution, Sciences Po, and my uncontested top choice in the U.S., Columbia, had a dual degree program, where I could fulfil my aspiration to study Mediterranean and Middle Eastern affairs in pastoral southern France and New York City, another city I have fallen in love with.

Due to my background and personal experience, coming from the Middle East, eager to be a part of the solution in the region and aiming for a more global and understanding inter-social dynamic, Menton’s Mediterranean and Middle Eastern focus was the obvious choice, especially due to my prior knowledge of several Arabic dialects. (Image: Jamming with students from all over the world on the French Riviera.)" -Youstine Faltas, Columbia University.

"Personally, I understand things best when they have a concrete foundation"

"I chose the Economics major because I wanted to learn about policy and human behavior on a mathematical level. Personally, I understand things best when they have a concrete foundation, and this major in particular provided with me with the unique opportunity of learning in such a way. I am fortunate to be in one of the top economics programs in the world at the University of Chicago, which was definitely a factor in my decision, and hope to take what I learn in the major to work in policy or business." -Christina Soliman, UChicago.

"I chose the Economics major because I wanted to learn about policy and human behavior on a mathematical level. Personally, I understand things best when they have a concrete foundation, and this major in particular provided with me with the unique opportunity of learning in such a way. I am fortunate to be in one of the top economics programs in the world at the University of Chicago, which was definitely a factor in my decision, and hope to take what I learn in the major to work in policy or business." -Christina Soliman, UChicago.