Principal’s Recognition Award: Sana Shariff

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Principal’s Recognition Award: Sana Shariff

By Kaylee Robinson

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Editor’s Note: This is the sixteenth in a series of 19 stories about last semester’s Principal’s Recognition  Award winners who were recognized on Wednesday, Dec. 2 for outstanding achievement in specific programs. Senior Sana Shariff received the Social Studies Award and was nominated by Mr. Daniel Kosiba.

It’s Sana Shariff’s junior year of high school. She sits in on a two semester class, Honors U.S History with one of her favorite teachers, social studies instructor Mr. Daniel Kosiba. Sana Shariff, now a senior, reflects back on her time spent learning one of her preferred subjects, social studies.

Shariff was nominated by Kosiba for the Principal Recognition Award. Although Sana is now a senior, Kosiba knew from last year that he wanted her to have this award.

“Every year, I give my students a questionnaire so that I can get to know them better both as students and people. The first questions are pretty straightforward, ‘please write your first and last name and then spell both phonetically to make sure I pronounce it correctly.’ Shariff wrote, ‘My name is Sana, it is pronounced Cenna but you can call me S-Dawg,'” Kosiba said.

“After getting to know S-Dawg as a student and a human being the last two years, I can say without hesitation that she is one of the most driven, dynamic, and righteous young people I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” Kosiba said.

To no one’s surprise, Shariff is an excellent student who excels in every aspect of her life. She has been on honor-roll for the past three years at Niles West and is a student tutor in the literacy center. Sana is a member of the National Spanish Honors Society and has dedicated over one hundred plus hours into volunteer work at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital. She also loves mentoring at her local Muslim girls youth group called, SSU.

When asked why she was so dedicated to helping others and bettering herself, Shariff had a few things to say.

“It takes one person to help someone that can change a whole generation. I am a product of what you would call the, “Kosiba Generation.” I was taught to never be selfish with knowledge. If you are blessed with the ability to understand and can help out it is your civil duty to help others and share,” she said.

Although Sana shows tremendous academic ability, that wasn’t the case when she first started high school. Her hard work stemmed from a desire to be successful.

“If being successful was easy,” Sana’s mother, Dr. Ruhi Shariff said, “then everyone would be successful.”

Shariff put in as many hours after school and at home staying on top of her school work as much as a student athlete puts into their sport. She visited the lit center several times a week along with getting extra help with her teachers. Once her tedious work became a natural routine, her ambition grew along with her confidence as a high school student.

Shariff plans to take her talents and education to the next level at a university this upcoming fall where she will study health sciences to achieve her lifetime goal which is to reduce the amount of chronic diseases through culinary ingenuity. She says she has big hopes for her future and wishes to spread the gift of selflessness to others.

“Life is about balance,” Shariff said. “And balance is the secret to happiness, If there’s anything you take from my story it’s that it’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish it.”

Previous installment in the Principal’s Recognition Award series

Haley Aicholzer  –