Virginia — Each year the Fairfax NEDP program recognizes one of its students with the Exceptional Initiative Award. In August 2008 the recipient was Yousef Chashi. Rita O’Connor, an NEDP assessor/advisor presented the award to Yousef with this explanation:
One of Fairfax County’s graduating students, Yousef Chashi, has shown extraordinary initiative. Growing up as a Kurd in Iran, he experienced many hardships. Education was scarce. The government sent one teacher for the whole town. In winter the teacher might not show up for weeks. This student studied at home. He borrowed books. He said, “You know, some people are hungry for food. I am hungry to learn.”
Since then he has taken classes and studied at every opportunity. The National External Diploma program was perfect for him. He had the initiative to tackle every task presented to him, not because it was required, but because he would learn something from it.
Even before graduation, he had already enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College where he will continue his education. We can think of no other student who has shown so much initiative throughout this program and over his entire lifetime. Fairfax County NEDP is pleased to present the Exceptional Initiative Award to Yousef Chashi.