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Social Entrepreneur Yasameen Mohammadi ’16 Returns to Blair for Skeptics
Adele Starrs

At Blair, Yasameen Mohammadi ’16 was not known as the loudest student in the classroom. Yet when she spoke, she commanded attention with her insightful, succinct remarks. Now, eight years later, Ms. Mohammadi continues to command attention, captivating audiences with her voice and her entrepreneurial endeavors such as creating a library for the visually impaired, which she covered at her upcoming, inaugural Skeptics talk on Tuesday, February 27. 

After graduating from the hilltop eight years ago, Ms. Mohammadi went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in business administration and management at Bucknell University, before she enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania to study international education development and obtain her master of science in education degree.

Though she hadn’t grown up knowing exactly what she wanted to study or pursue professionally, Ms. Mohammadi was always drawn to work that would make a positive impact in the international setting. So it came as no surprise when her first few positions involved serving as a research data analyst for the Afghanistan Holding Group and volunteering as a refugee handler for Save the Children International. At her upcoming talk, she plans to share her journey navigating  through uncertainty and  anxiety and toward her professional opportunities. 

“Most young people are anxious. I know I was,” said Ms. Mohammadi in a pre-event interview. “Many young students are unsure of the future and their role in it,  which often affects their present and their relationships with their peers. I hope that my stories will alleviate some of their anxiety and help them be more confident in themselves and trust that everything will be all right.”

Part of the answer to alleviate the students’ pressures and concerns, she notes, is to celebrate the present moment on the hilltop. Simply by engaging with diverse subjects  and immersing themselves in learning,  students are already on their way, she says cheerfully.

“Blair and the teachers at Blair have had an important role in helping me get to where I am today,” said Ms. Mohammadi. “I definitely have learned a lot of lessons,” she said, giving credit to her peers and mentors. “I learned to be kind to yourself and not compare yourself to others. Also, that it is okay and rather important to ask for help.”

History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.

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