As Najmi Iman prepares to graduate this Spring from Summit: Atlas and looks ahead to studying civil engineering and architecture at the University of Washington, he is proud of his journey these past four years and excited to pursue his dreams.
It’s been a journey!
“When I first started at Summit: Atlas, I considered myself an introvert,” said Najmi. “I felt confused and didn’t know how to ask for help. Today, I feel like an extrovert who knows how to build connections, make friends and take a deep breath when life gets uncomfortable.”
An avid soccer player, Najmi started as a center-back playing for the team at Summit: Atlas. Today, he’s a winger and striker.
“A center-back is more of an introverted position – it’s an important role on a team and is always on the ball. Wingers and strikers are more loud – they communicate with their team and want to keep the team moving. They want to score,” he said. “I want the ball at my feet so I can score.”
A school…and a community
“Before I came to Summit, I didn’t feel like I had mentors or teachers that actually cared. But at Summit, every student and teacher are connected,” Najmi said. “You meet a student every week who has the same bond with their teachers. We get to confront weaknesses and build on our strengths, especially because we work with a lot of the same teachers during the four years at Summit. We all would work to lend each other a hand – we are all human, students and teachers alike.”
His connection with his teachers, like Ms. Allen at Summit: Atlas, has helped Najmi seek what he wants out of life. They are a part of his community, one that is built on the foundation of his family and his home.
Sharing advice for students just starting high school
As he reflects on the past four years, Najmi offers some thoughts on how younger students can make the most of their time at a charter public school like Summit: Atlas.
“Take a deep breath – everyone has bad days, ask for help. Make friends and find your mentors – we are all human beings and we all need to help each other.”
What comes next
Najmi was offered full scholarships at several colleges in Washington State. After accepting a full scholarship to the University of Washington, Najmi plans to focus on helping people, no matter what form that takes. “I want to study civil engineering and architecture. In civil engineering, you can do so many things to help learn about structures, soil and water as people build their homes and their communities. And it is something that you can do anywhere in the world, just like sports! I may also want to study medicine because that is another important way that you can help people no matter where you live,” he said.
“I also love soccer so I’m going to see how I can keep playing while studying at the University of Washington. It’s a Division I school, so I know it’s very competitive, but I know I will find a way,” Najmi said.
Wisdom that inspires Najmi
“I love to share the philosophy of Ibn Arabi, an important Muslim scholar. He wrote about how one must be shielded by their dreams. Summit was a place where I could dream and take action on those dreams. I can’t wait to see what comes next as I pursue them.”