Mohammad Shedeed

South Fayette High School, 12

Mohammad Shedeed

Academic Achievement

Academically, I have been recognized at the Best of the Best awards ceremony for the highest academic performance and attaining the highest standards of character, leadership, service, and scholarship. The classes I have won this award in the past two years include Honors World Cultures, Spanish III, Applied Positive Psychology, Honors Physics, and Honors Argument., Award Winner – 3 Years
Principal’s Recognition Award and the Highest Honor Roll for 14 consecutive quarters., Principal’s Recognition Recipient – 4 Years
I was Student of the Month for 10th and 11th grade with the respective themes of Independence and Most Helpful. The Meritorious Leadership and Service Award was also given to me for my work with SHOUT and Spanish Club., Student of the Month – 2 Years
I was recognized by Pennsylvania Junior Achievement and won their prestigious 18 Under 18 Award which celebrates eighteen extraordinary students that are defining their generation through their entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, and service to their communities. I had to undergo an extensive application and interview cycle to be considered for this award. As a benefit of this award my work on mental health was presented on news stations such as CBS and KDKA. Additionally, I won the National Alliance on Mental Illness Keystone Pennsylvania Youth Mental Health Leadership Award. The award recognizes the passion and courage of young leaders, who are committed to fighting the stigma of mental health conditions, providing a safe community for peers to share their own mental health experiences, and empowering peers through education., Youth Leadership Awards – 1 Year
I also was a semifinalist for the National Honor Society Scholarship out of thousands of applicants around the nation and am the first student from South Fayette to win this prestigious award., President – 1 Year

Extracurricular Activities

I work with a national organization, Work2BeWell, that focuses on destigmatizing mental health and promoting mental health resources. I am the Education team lead and my responsibilities involve convening bi-weekly with students across the country and creating content in the form of podcasts, presentations, and classroom curricula to destigmatize mental health among teens and spread awareness about available resources. I have created over 50 podcasts called Talk2bewells which focus on everyday relevant topics teenagers face which affects their mental health. These topics range from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and self-care methods. My favorite episode is called “The Detriments of Extra Pressure on High School Students”. I was very passionate about discussing the cons of students having to connect their self-worth with their academic achievement and the toxicity it can create in a high school. I also helped create new content around BIYOC mental health. Another curriculum module I am working on is transferring the Hiding in Plain Sight PBS Documentary into classroom content. This film features the stories of 24 individuals and their lived experiences with mental health. I was able to travel to Oregon and work with other student advocates, teachers, administrators, and the filmmakers to ensure we were encapsulating the overall message of the film., Education Team Lead – 2 Years
I am also the teen lead champion for the Pennsylvania Youth Advocacy Network. I have been a representative teen champion and facilitator at several webinars with hundreds of other adult and teenage champions in attendance who are advocates of mental health and have constantly provided my perspective through podcasts, presentations, and social media posts. One of the biggest achievements my team and I had was drafting a proclamation recognizing Teen Mental Health day on May 22nd. The proclamation was signed by Governor Tom Wolf and president of Allegheny County Patrick J. Catena. I was invited to speak at the Allegheny County Courthouse and emphasized the importance of allowing teens to speak up about issues and emphasized the need for resources for minorities and those with disabilities. For this Network, I was also interviewed by Public Source about my opinions on the 988 number and the reason for his passion for working to destigmatize mental health, and how schools needed to implement more mental health resources. Currently, I am working with the PA Youth Advocacy Series as a facilitator, aiding students in starting community initiatives to spread knowledge and resources about mental health to address their specific community needs. I have given this group a presentation about Emotional CPR and the importance peers have in responding to mental health crises. A subsect of this group is the teen working group which I help lead and we have the goal of enacting educational legislation for school excused mental health days. We have met with legislators and elected officials such as Senator Casey, Schwank, and Nelson. Our garnered support also comes from educational organizations we have connected with such as the Superintendent’s Association, Counselor’s Association, School Board Association and Teachers’ Association of Pennsylvania to progress these efforts and we aim to have the bill pass the house and senate floor by the end of the year., Teen Champion, Lead Facilitator – 2 Years
As captain of the boys’ varsity swim team; I motivate my teammates during practice and ensure they maintain standards of sportsmanship during practice and swim meets. For varsity and club swimming I qualified for WPIALS three times in the 4×100 and once in the 4×50 freestyle relay. My team also voted me to be an elected athlete representative for Steel City Aquatics., Captain – 4 Years
To advocate for mental health at my school, I helped start Stand Together which was a club that focused on the notion that those that suffer from mental health are not alone. After receiving a $1,000 grant from the Allegheny General Health Network my team and I helped coordinate the three-chapter projects South Fayette did include mental health trivia, the mental health chain of truth, and giving out self-care tips for the summer along with popsicles. Also, in school, I am the co-chair for SHOUT (Social Handprints Overcoming Unjust Treatment). SHOUT focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion at my school. I coordinated the first Dress Like Your Culture Day where 200 students across the district dressed in cultural attire from their countries of origin. The goal of this initiative was to allow students to celebrate their differences and have fun comparing clothes from similar cultures rather than being embarrassed about where someone comes from and who they truly are. I also organized the second annual Uncommon Conference where dances from 5 different cultures were represented. The event had cultural music, games, and helped raise $5,000 for Four Diamonds, the organization focused on curing and treating pediatric cancer. Currently, I am working with the other students in SHOUT to publish our second book which will feature personal narratives of how students and/or their family members’ mental health was impacted during the Pandemic., President – 2 Years
I am president of the NHS chapter at my school and am working to reinforce membership guidelines and create five-chapter projects which includes food drives, blood donations, refugee support, fundraising for hospitals, and interaction with the younger kids at the school through their holiday parties. I am also captain of the boys’ varsity swim team; I motivate my teammates during practice and ensure they maintain standards of sportsmanship during practice. One of my other passions is the Spanish language and culture and am president for my school’s Spanish club. One of our projects for Spanish Club was the Pulsera Project where we raised $750 for artists in Guatemala and Nicaragua by selling their work, hand-made bracelets with rich colors throughout our school. To express my passion about health overall, I am the Vice President of Community Service for the HOSA Medical Careers Club at my school and am an Adolescent Researcher for the Allegheny Health Network. I have participated in webinars with local researchers and physicians for how to make treatments more accessible and relatable to youth., President, Adolescent Researcher – 3 Years

Community Involvement

In my place of employment, I am a head lifeguard, a lifeguard, and an American Red Cross Certified Swim Instructor at the Upper St. Clair Recreation Center. I am responsible for managing my team during shifts and responding to cardiac, water rescue, and first aid situations. Additionally, I enforce rules and regulations of the Red Cross and Recreation Center, communicate with and assist members of the public, and collaborate with coworkers to maintain the appearance of the facility and staff. As a swim instructor I teach kids ages 5-12 the fundamentals of stroke technique, water safety, and swimming endurance. One a weekly basis I work around 6-8 hours per week., Head Lifeguard, Lifeguard, Swim Lesson Instructor – 2 Years
I also teach Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies to kids ranging from ages 7-14. I review activities regularly to identify opportunities for improvement and adapt instruction to support the needs of students at all skill levels and encourage continuous development. To adjust the Covid, I began integrating computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment to supplement presentations and keep students interested. One of the novel initiatives I have introduced is utilizing crafts and interactive games to supplement lesson plans and ensure students enjoy coming to Sunday School and learning about these topics. Weekly I work 4 hours here., Sunday School Teacher – 3 Years
Before becoming an official teacher, I was a volunteer teacher for my Sunday School at the Attawheed Islamic Center for two years. The subjects I taught included Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Values. I created some of my own lesson plans and enforced many of my supervisors’ plans to help children aged 5-7 learn the fundamentals of reading Arabic. We had crafts accompanying each letter of the alphabet and I prepared the supplies and demonstrated the craft to keep students engaged. With this group I also implemented fun daily activities such as Islamic stories, games to get them moving, and having them sing a nasheed which is work of vocal music in traditional Islamic cultures. We practiced this for weeks and they performed it at graduation. For kids 7-14 I taught the principles and pillars of Islam and demonstrated how to perform the right prayers and ablution. I also helped them memorize ten surahs from the Quran, focusing on proper reading techniques such as Tajweed, Maad, Sukoon, Shadah, and Tanween. With all age groups I reviewed activities regularly to identify opportunities for improvement. During the shutdown I had to abruptly adapt my instruction as we switched instruction to online learning within a matter of weeks. So, I Integrated computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment to supplement presentations and keep students interested. I was in this position for 40 weeks for 200 total hours until I was promoted to a full-time teacher and I became the youngest one to do so., Sunday School Volunteer Teacher – 2 Years
I also was the leader for the Youth Leadership Volunteer group. I was responsible for organizing a Kayaking Getaway in 2020 adhering to Covid safety protocols and holding the event for 200 people. I also coordinated two food drives, delivering 300 meals to those in need in the Greater Pittsburgh area and having meaningful conversations with those who are less fortunate. I also serve as a youth representative on our annual camp planning committee where I was responsible for creating participant activities and reserving entertainment for 400 guests. My most notable experience and form of advocacy was speaking at my local mosque about the relationship between Islam and mental health. I spoke as part of a program I organized called Youth Night where teens could speak about any topic such as “Wearing a Hijab in Contemporary Society” and “How to Cope with Comparisons to Negative Stereotypes of Islam.” I was very excited to speak about my topic as I felt it was important to debunk outdated cultural stereotypes with our community’s beautiful religion and mental health which is often seen as a taboo topic. It was exciting and relieving for many people to hear verses from the Quran and stories from the life of Prophet Muhammad (S). This information proves that Islam mandates followers to take care of their mental health and well-being and that they should support their brothers and sisters who are struggling, reducing any inherent shame in asking for help. It was powerful to see how members of the community took note of mental health resources, and many people told me that they felt more comfortable with the topic of mental health overall. This proved to me that providing general information about mental health can truly change people’s mindsets and promote change which is needed to combat stigma and counteract the epidemic of mental health in the country. My total time working with this organization is 150 hours., President – 4 Years
On a national level I am also a lead facilitator for the National Honor Society Leadership Network on Mental Health. I meet monthly with 7 other facilitators from across the nation to discuss relevant mental health topics for 300 participants where we discuss methods to implement mental health advocacy practices back at their schools. This past year I was invited to speak in Washington D.C. to an audience of 300 as part of a panel that discussed my mental health advocacy and how teens could go about fostering a healthier environment in their schools when it came to discussing mental health. On a global scale, I was recently selected to be one of three ambassadors from the United States to serve on the International Adolescent Health Week Network with representatives from 25 different countries. This cohort will work to create initiatives around adolescent health during the week of March 19-26., Lead Facilitator, Student Ambassador – 2 Years


I want to have a career as a psychiatrist and open my own clinic focused on healing with holistic methods versus relying on medications. I plan to major in neuroscience for the next 4-5 years so I can understand the complex phenomenon that is the human brain which will aid me in my profession of analyzing the mind and its effects on on a person’s life. I want to understand how countries around the world view mental health and how mental health resources can be adjusted to suit their needs.