Discovering her own power and determination.

In her travels to Tehran, Iran, Sabina found life within the country and herself. She wrote in her winning Ripley Hunter Essay about her ascent up the Alborz Mountains at the age of seven and how her travels changed her understanding of human determination.

Climbing the terraced terrain that makes up the Alborz Mountains was a surmountable endeavor. The landscape had been carved out into 200 stairs by farmers hundreds and hundreds of years ago using sophisticated technology for the times. Sabina scoffed at the first few steps up the towering mountains, but not long after, maybe even just a dozen steps along the way, her legs began to ache. Soon the pain was intensifying and she thought, “if it took this much to climb, how could anyone transform these mountains into stairs!”

Her last few stairs were the hardest, but when she reached the peak she was struck by the awe-inspiring view. The world seemed more green, alive, and fresh from her view.

Defeating that obstacle not only gave Sabina a new understanding of the world, but allowed her to discover the power within—not only physically, but emotionally. She had endured, as had the mountain farmers before her. In doing so she discovered ambition’s potency and humanity’s strength. Standing on top of that mountain where everything seemed small, she found something bigger than herself. She found the capability in all humans to persist despite all hindrances.

Sabina longed for more travel opportunities and is grateful to SYF for providing her with a scholarship to pursue her dreams.

Transformation begins with you.