Raihan Sayeed

Student at Loyola University Chicago

About Raihan Sayeed

Currently in his junior year at Loyola University Chicago (LUC), Raihan Sayeed, aka Ray Sayeed, is a premed student who is undertaking a course of study in business to better prepare for a career in the health care industry. In addition to his work in the classroom, Raihan Sayeed has shadowed professional pediatricians and primary care physicians in Homewood and Chicago, Illinois. He also recently attended a comprehensive seminar at Illinois State University that was designed to guide prospective students through the medical school admissions process.

Raihan Sayeed’s high school career was marked by an exceptional commitment to volunteerism. While maintaining a significantly high grade point average at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Illinois, Ray Sayeed was awarded a Community Service Certificate for “sponsoring, supporting, and motivating” 50 underprivileged students at Crescent High School in India. He has also volunteered as a member of the SUFFAH Educational and Guidance Center, an Indian Relief and Charities organization, and the Vital Home Health Care system. In 2009, Mr. Sayeed was honored with the Prairie State Achievement Award in recognition of his exceptional academic performance in mathematics, science and reading.

After graduating from Lincoln-Way East High in the spring of 2010, Raihan Sayeed completed twelve credits at Moraine Valley Community College Summer School before embarking as a freshman at Loyola University Chicago the following autumn. In addition to his classroom duties and his numerous responsibilities as a medical volunteer, Ray Sayeed represents the LUC student body as an elected Senator for the Loyola University Unified Student Government Association.

Travel Enables New Personal Growth and Development Opportunites

Raihan Sayeed, who as a high school student devoted much of his time to travel and even some overseas volunteer work, enrolled in the pre-medical program at Loyola University in Chicago in 2010. Mr. Sayeed’s travel experiences not only opened doors of opportunity for his future career in medicine, but also engaged him in global outreach, as he now sponsors 50 underprivileged children at a school in India. Raihan Sayeed has visited multiple countries and has shared in the wealth of people connecting globally, a highly advantageous and crucial element in a rapidly expanding world of communication.

When travelers like Ray Sayeed place themselves in the shoes of people from different cultures, they absorb a positive new take on the world. Many educators recognize that world travel and exposure to new cultural norms have beneficial impacts on development and character. The more students engage in studies or trips abroad, the more they can enhance their entire learning experience, enabling them to take on challenges and solve problems from new angles.

Travel also encourages the development of newfound abilities, and introduces the potential for acquiring new skills and trades. Furthermore, it imparts a sense of empathy that can only be obtained through exposure to people from a different background than one’s own. With poverty and turmoil striking much of the world’s population, travel enables people to engage in new levels of global support.

The Importance of Cultural Awareness

A student at Loyola University in Chicago, Raihan Sayeed studies the importance of cultural diversity through travel and academics. Further, Raihan Sayeed has gained valuable insight on cultural awareness by assisting patients of diverse backgrounds in Chicago hospitals.

Cultural awareness involves looking beyond oneself to celebrate different cultural values and beliefs. Central to the idea of cultural awareness is understanding that people see and interpret words and actions in different manners. Appropriate behavior in one culture may not be appropriate in another, making cultural awareness an integral part of interacting with others.

Cultural awareness not only is a crucial part of becoming a well-rounded individual, but also has a number of important applications in the world market. The idea that different cultures react differently to certain things is a crucial part of product placement and advertising. Everything from labeling, printing, and selling products hinge upon understanding the consumers of other cultures.

India's Basic Education System

Throughout his years as a student, Raihan Sayeed has volunteered to support underprivileged communities both in the United States and abroad. Raihan Sayeed has traveled to his native India on numerous medical mission trips and sponsors the education of 50 secondary school students.

Although India first assumed the Western system of education in the mid-1800s, only in the 20th century has there been a federally monitored and developed standard. The curriculum itself falls under the jurisdiction of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which has a counterpart in each state. In general, the national council maintains responsibility for setting standards and establishing guidelines, while the state councils implement them. However, the states do have significant freedom to improvise.

Students in India begin school at age 6 and complete the 10th grade around age 15. At that time, the student takes an examination developed either by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the two most widely followed curriculum streams. Admission to 11th grade is contingent upon receiving a good score on these exams.

Approximately 49 percent of all students today drop out before reaching the 10th grade. Experts attribute this trend to high levels of poverty, high pupil-to-teacher ratios, and a high percentage of nonqualified teachers. Fortunately, national initiatives such as the Right to Education Act are currently improving enrollment, as well as developmentally appropriate instruction, sanitation, and early childhood education.

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