Class Valedictorian Nevin Shenouda plans career as medical doctor.
Seventeen-year-old Nevin Shenouda was a ninth-grader when she joined the Upward Boundprogram sponsored by Dakota County Technical College. Today, Shenouda is the valedictorian of her senior class at South St. Paul High School and one of four Dell Scholars chosen from Minnesota high schools.
A native-born Egyptian, Shenouda spent the first six years of her life in Cairo, a city of some 7.7 million people that has served as the capital of Egypt since A.D. 1168. She speaks fluent Arabic and her name, Nevin, means “flower” in her birth language.
“I can remember our neighbors in Cairo,” Shenouda said. “I can also remember walking around the city with my older brother.”
Shenouda lives in West St. Paul with her family. Her father manages a McDonald’s franchise in Mendota Heights. She joined Upward Bound on the advice of her older sister, Nermin, who preceded her in the program. Nineteen-year-old Nermin is majoring in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota with plans to become a dentist.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Upward Bound program at DCTC serves 50 students in grades 9-12 from Henry Sibley and South St. Paul high schools. The program encourages students to excel academically, assisting with high school graduation requirements while preparing students for enrollment and completion of postsecondary education.
“Upward Bound is a great program that needs to stick around because many students would be lost without it,” said Shenouda.
Melody Geiger, a TRiO/Upward Bound assistant director at DCTC, agrees with Shenouda and points to her selection as a Dell Scholar as confirmation of the program’s importance.
“Nevin is the second student in our Upward Bound program to receive this scholarship,” Geiger said. “The Dell Scholars Program is a need-based scholarship that recognizes academic potential in underserved, low-income students. As one of 250 Dell Scholars nationwide, Nevin will receive a $20,000 scholarship dispersed annually in $5,000 increments during her undergraduate studies.”
Geiger went on to say that the Dell Scholars Program also offers access to educational resources, a private scholar networking community and educational tools to aid in Nevin’s college studies, including a printer and notebook PC. Since 2004, the program has provided $14 million in college scholarships.
An athlete as well as a scholar, Nevin Shenouda loves soccer and basketball, playing defense on the field and point guard on the court. A member of the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church, she participates regularly in church activities, including choir, theater and band—in the latter as a saxophonist.
She belongs to SADD, or Students Against Destructive Decisions, and is also a member of the Student Council and Key Club at her high school. She does volunteer work at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul and is active in Diversity Leadership.
Shenouda will graduate from high school this spring and has already been accepted by the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her long-term goal is to attend medical school and become a family doctor. One option she wishes to explore is practicing medicine in a third-world country.
Having earned a 4.2 GPA as an International Baccalaureate student, Shenouda understands the value of a support system for younger students. “Upward Bound gave me the encouragement I needed to succeed,” she said. “The program offers so much in the way of mentoring, counseling and educational assistance. Both my sister and I benefited from the many opportunities the program provides.”