A teacher inspires Sherando senior’s interest in computing |

Ashraf Ibrahim has spent the past four years taking advantage of every opportunity possible, and now this Sherando High School senior is ready to venture out into the world and leave his mark.

After graduating, 18-year-old Ibrahim will attend the University of Virginia to study computer science. He will enter the university there as a Rodman Scholar, which is awarded to approximately 5% of each incoming class in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Ibrahim found inspiration from many of his teachers, but he was really inspired to pursue computer science by his math teacher, Christa VanOlst. After taking his first year of class, he took his computer course the following year.

“Halfway through my second year, COVID hit and the school closed, Ibrahim said. “I got really bored…so I learned to program more, and it had a snowball effect.”

VanOlst enjoyed teaching Ibrahim and watching him grow as a student and an individual.

“I first met Ashraf during his freshman year of honors algebra, and like most teachers, when I heard chatter coming from the back of the room, I was curious myself. of the conversation. However, when asked to share his thoughts, he surprised me not only by being on task with the task, but also by eagerly asking thought-provoking questions,” he said. she said, “I truly believe that Ashraf knows how to balance life, which is a lesson some may never learn. He is an independent, motivated and complete human being. »

Ibrahim is a determined student, and although his schedule is usually busy, he finds time to delve deeply into research on topics that interest him. This voracious desire for knowledge led him to where he is now.

“I feel like the state I’m used to is a state of constant development,” he said. “I found a balance in the fact that I really like to learn.”

Outside of the classroom, Ibrahim engaged in many activities during his time at Sherando. Some of these include sports, peer tutoring, music, being a chemistry lab assistant, and participating in student ambassadors.

One of the newest additions to Ibrahim’s list of extracurricular activities is the coding club.

“At the end of the junior year, I started the coding club at Sherando,” he said. “Sherando’s computer science department is really small…I realized that having an after-school community to do this would be really helpful, not just for me, but also for other kids who wanted to learn computer science and computer science. coding.”

Ibrahim wants others not to hold back from the opportunities that life presents.

“If you see it, don’t wait,” he said. “Life is just a period of time where you get to know yourself… If you don’t really dig deep into this thing that you love, you really won’t be able to know yourself too.”

Ibrahim spent his time at Sherando growing and learning as much as he could, and he was determined to continue growing throughout his senior year.

“I feel like a lot of my time at Sherando really got me thinking about how I spend my time,” he said. “This year has really been about savoring my time before I go and making sure I leave the legacy I want to leave.”

With his kind heart and determined spirit, Ibrahim surely left a lasting legacy in Sherando.

The class of 2022 from Sherando High School graduates at 7 p.m. today at Warrior Stadium.

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