Sarah Youssefi's Story
Sarah Youssefi, age 18, Seattle, WA
After going through a rebellious period when she was in grade school, refusing to drink her hated PKU formula, Sarah finally realized that she could not cure her PKU but she could change her attitude. She began to realize that rather than being a curse, PKU was actually a gift for teaching her responsibility, patience, hope, and appreciation for life. From then on she became known for her positive outlook and ready smile. "I always see the bright side and do not get discouraged easily," says Sarah. "I know that PKU has given me the strength and determination to do anything." She is a straight-A student taking Honors and Advanced Placement classes at Holy Names Academy, a highly competitive high school where she is in the top of her class. Sarah is a member of the National Honor Society. She has shown outstanding leadership skills as a Student Ambassador Officer, speaking at school events and organizing meetings; as a Student Recruiter, going into the community to talk about and recruit students for her school; and as part of a Big Sister/Little Sister program at the school. Says one teacher, "Sarah has amazing leadership qualities and is extremely mature, enthusiastic, responsible, and ethical. Her communications skills are among the best I’ve seen. The vibrancy with which she communicates motivates others and moves them to action."
Sarah is a member of the Global Issues Club, Middle Eastern Student Union (she is part Iranian), and other school-sponsored clubs. She has played volleyball all four years of high school and this year her team went all the way to Washington state finals. She has been recognized for her outstanding achievement in school, sports, and community service by being given a Student Life Award. She was also selected to be one of three students from her school to attend the Leadership Camp at Claremont McKenna College in Los Angeles last summer. Sarah has volunteered for many community activities, including the Susan Komen Foundation and Gilda’s Club, in honor of her mother who has had breast cancer, as well as assisting with the teen program at the Wild Horse Canyon PKU Camp in Oregon, and Urban ArtWorks, a group dedicated to helping "at risk" teens by employing them to pain murals commissioned by companies throughout Seattle.
Fascinated by other cultures and languages, she plans to pursue a double major in Spanish and International Relations. She hopes to use her education to further her goals of reaching out to the global PKU community.
Last update: July 2009