Once again, We-Ha.com and West Hartford Magazine (WHM) salute the graduating class of 2018 with the annual Terrific Teen feature.
This annual celebration of our “terrific teens” puts the spotlight on a handful of teens who have worked very hard to make it to that graduation stage. Finding just two students from each high school each year is a challenge we love, and we do mean it’s a challenge since the options are seemingly endless. Some are kids we’ve watched mature from childhood, and some were just recently brought to our attention. We wish we could spotlight more great and deserving kids, but we only have so much room in our pages.
This year, we wanted our teens to shine in a new way. For the interview process we built a questionnaire for the young adults to fill out in their own time and place, and we’re so pleased with their candor! With the exception of some editing for space constraints, most of what you’ll read here are their own words.
Our teen photo days have brought us from studios, to parks, to shopping centers. And this year we visited West Hartford’s public golf course, Rockledge Golf Club, for some fun photo opportunities. We hope you enjoy “meeting them” as much as we did. We’ll feature one student per week.
Each year, with input from our editorial board, the “Terrific Teens” section puts the spotlight on one boy and one girl from each of the public and private high schools in West Hartford. The only requirement to become a featured teen is that the student live in town.
This week, we are proud to feature Sharif Mutasim, Kingswood Oxford School.
This tennis player, student, and self-proclaimed “big fan of space” Sharif Mutasim is eagerly moving on from high school and is relocating to the west coast with his family.
WHM: If you could tell your freshman year self just one thing about high school, what would it be?
SHARIF: Try out new things, because my hesitance is what held me back from reaching my full potential or discovering new interests.
WHM: Who inspires you and why? Think of a special teacher, parent, sibling, or other friend and share a story of what makes this relationship special.
SHARIF: My father inspires me because his success as a student has gotten him to America and allowed me to study at a great school. He proves to me that anything is possible with the help of motivation.
WHM: What are some of your hobbies and interests? This can be sports, books, art. Give some examples of your favorite things.
SHARIF: I enjoy learning about space and modes of transportation, and my artistic side is drawn towards singing, acting, and designing/programming games.
WHM: It’s your first summer after high school … Tell us what you are looking forward to most about the coming year.
SHARIF: I am extremely excited to go into a new environment, meet new people, try new things, and learn a lot more. College offers high level courses that I am more interested in, so I should enjoy it greatly.
WHM: If you’ll be attending college, tell us where and why you chose this school?
SHARIF: I am attending Purdue University as an engineer. I chose Purdue because not only is the community very welcoming but also because they have great job preparedness. With opportunities like co-ops and internships, I plan on being able to get a job I enjoy after college.
WHM: Any other anecdotes or fun facts about yourself.
SHARIF: As a kid I was so convinced that Pluto had life on it (I don’t remember my reasoning, but it had to do with it having five moons) that I even made a bet about it, but then in 2015 when New Horizons flew by, I lost my hope and 20 bucks.
You can also read the full issue of West Hartford Magazine here.