Darlington junior Maksud Dzhabrailov has won a $1,000 scholarship from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), following his submission of an original essay on the work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
Sponsored by the TAPO Institute, scholarship prizes were given to five students from high schools and colleges across the nation that wrote about what today's youth could learn from a brave young Pakistani woman. Yousafzai has made it her life's work to champion for the education of women and children all over the globe, and almost died from gunshot wounds incurred in 2012 as a result of speaking out against her government's attempts to suppress access to schooling.
"Malala's most important contribution was to show students around the world that you should never stop trying to reach your goals—every time you fall, you have to continue," said Dzhabrailov. "It's what sets you apart from other people, and what sets you up to reach your goal. Her actions also showed how significant of an impact one person can have on the world."
The Moscow native was honored at a symposium on Saturday at the National Center of Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. The seminar, titled "Finding Inspiration Inside: Recognizing Character, Realizing Potential," was co-hosted by NSHSS and the center, and featured speakers like Stockholm University political science professor Merrick Tabor and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
"Our global community benefits greatly when we view things through the generational lens of today's youth, reminding us of the obligation we have to advocate for inclusivity and fairness," said Todd Corley, TAPO Institute founder and board chair of the NSHSS Foundation.
The National Society of High School Scholars is an international honor society dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment.
Dzhabrailov is active in Darlington's Servant Leadership program, serves as a Spiritual Life Liaison, plays in the Soccer Academy, and is a member of Math Club and Science Club. Before coming to Darlington last year, the boarding student attended schools in London and Dubai.
"I think the breadth of Maksud's life experience and educational experiences really prepared him for the mindset that they were looking to celebrate with this competition," said Tara Inman, Darlington's director of ESL and spiritual life. "He is always looking for opportunities to learn, improve and make a path for his future. He is very enthusiastic and thoughtful, and pushes himself."
The student plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology in fall 2017, where he wants to pursue a major in civil engineering.
He is the son of Mekhriban and Natik Dzhabrailov of Moscow.