Leah Yared

Hometown: Rockville, MD

high school: Rockville High School

college: Harvard College

MAJOR: Government

A stranger might underestimate Leah Yared. At five feet tall, she is certainly one to be overlooked in a crowd. But in truth, she has a fierce and passionate personality that bursts out of her small figure.­­­

Born in Maryland to Ethiopian parents, Leah learned that the American Dream could be achieved with determination. Her parents worked hard to provide for their three children – Leah being the youngest. They had high expectations for excellence, and her siblings set the bar high. Her upbringing was an eclectic mix of Ethiopian and American culture, although she is still learning to embrace her native roots.  One of Leah’s quirks is a love of “old” things, from classic cars to Motown and old-school rap. Despite working in retail, she prefers antique stores to any mall. This fascination with bygone eras is one of the reasons why history was her favorite subject.

A self-professed failure at all things athletic, Leah found success with academics. She chose to join the rigorous IB program in order to challenge herself. Outside of the classroom, she grew into a leader as president of the National Honor Society. Her chapter tackled the issue of suicide-prevention as its project this year. Additionally, Leah stays actively involved in her school’s debate and mock trial teams. Her persuasive skills developed out of years of impassioned living room debates with her family on topics ranging from politics to pop culture. Leah also has played on NBC-4 as a member of the It’s Academic team. She has crammed more facts into her head than she can remember. 

Her biggest commitment is to her high school newspaper. Writing comes second-nature to Leah. Her articles educate the student body by exposing facets of the community that might otherwise be overlooked. She spent two years as Editor-in-Chief, helping the staff take home a 3rd place national ranking in the “Best in Show” category at the National High School Journalism Convention. That award was the culmination of many late nights at school and many, many boxes of pizza.

Leah plans to major in Government at Harvard in the fall. She hopes to write for a college newspaper and pursue a law degree. Since she believes education is key to a bright future, she anticipates volunteering in local schools to tutor or support young ambitious students. She is not sure if she wants to become a lawyer or a journalist, but she knows that her college years will be formative in shaping her aspirations.

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