Sarah Naguib '13

Kenyon College ’17
Neuroscience major, Biology minor
10 Years at CSG

Laying the foundation for success

Going to CSG gave me the skills I needed to take advantage of every opportunity I have been given at Kenyon. Being in small classes at CSG prepared me to feel comfortable developing personal relationships with the Kenyon faculty, and enabled me to walk confidently into office hours whenever I needed help. My experiences at CSG taught me that when I wasn’t satisfied with something, I, even as one person, have enough power to make a change. When Kenyon didn’t have any sort of martial arts organization, which was important to me since I started tae kwon do at the age of 10, I took it upon myself in the first semester of my freshman year to start one on my own. It reminded me a lot of my experiences in junior and senior years at CSG with One Laptop Per Child. When I found out that no laptops had been brought to my family’s home country of Egypt, I took it upon myself to start my own branch of One Laptop Per Child and raise enough funds (over $30,000 in six months) to buy 100 laptops and send them there myself. The support system at CSG made it easy for me to admit when I was wrong or when I needed help—both of which are skills that I carried with me to Kenyon and will definitely remain with me far beyond college.

Beyond the Classroom

Outside of being a student at CSG, I was involved in the tae kwon do program, the crew for almost every CSG Theater production, the One Laptop Per Child service learning course, the orchestra, Silhouette (the school newspaper), and Intellectuelle (a literary magazine that I co-founded). All of these extracurricular activities taught me time management, leadership skills, and public speaking skills.

Finding a College Home

The College Counseling Office was pivotal in helping me land at Kenyon. I hadn’t even heard of the school until Ms. Schultz brought it up because it fit with what I was looking for in a college—a place that was small, not too far from home, and was a liberal arts school with a strong science program. The College Counseling class starting from junior year really helped me to stay on top of my application deadlines and make headway on all 27 supplemental essays that I had to finish before winter break. Once I received my acceptance letters, I spent a lot of time talking with not only the college counselors, but also any of my teachers who would listen to me as I figured out which school would be best for me—and I definitely think I made the right decision!

Future Plans

Since the fall of my sophomore year at Kenyon, I have been doing research in a neuroscience lab focusing on a mouse model of autism. I have been given the opportunity to present my data at conferences and, as such, I have become very passionate about potentially pursuing a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience or neuropharmacology. I also have been contemplating applying to medical school ever since I can remember, so as of this fall I will be submitting applications to both medical and graduate schools. Additionally, my passion for education is pulling me toward spending a year or two working with Teach for America before pursuing a postgraduate degree.

major Accomplishments

I think my biggest accomplishment during my time at CSG was definitely the entire experience of my One Laptop Per Child project. Reaching (and actually surpassing!) my fundraising goal was one of the most exciting moments of my life. Actually hearing that the laptops had made it to Egypt, and seeing the kids using them, was another moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life, as it made all the hard work so worth it. Looking back now, I can easily say that I became a different person because of my work with One Laptop Per Child. At the age of sixteen, before the project started, I was scared to speak in public, I didn’t know anything about grant proposals or nonprofits, and I wasn’t confident in my writing abilities to maintain a blog. But by the end of the project I had given a TED talk, appeared on TV twice, my website was getting views from people in over 50 countries, and (with a LOT of help) I was able to raise ~$33,000 to make it all happen.