#376. December 17th, 2015: Noor Tagouri

When I was first introduced to the name Noor Tagouri, it was from a friend Zeinab who was inspired by all that Noor was and all that she stood for. When I first heard Noor’s voice, I could tell instantly that I was speaking with a world-changer, a compassionate woman, and a genuine human being. When I first met Noor in person, I realized that everything I had thought and heard was right: Noor was someone who’s pure existence makes the world a better place. Noor is a beautiful, quick, and hilarious friend, and she’s someone you can count on to spend every single day trying to do her best to inspire others and change the status quo. She sees a challenge as an opportunity and she encourages everyone in her life to do the same. Noor has an energy when you’re around her that is impossible to ignore. It isn’t commanding or overwhelming; it’s comforting and sparks the best in you. Noor, thank you so much for walking into my life at a time when I really needed it. Thank you for being a rebellious spirit and for inspiring me to keep creating and persevering. Thank you for constantly checking up on me during my travels – it seriously means the world to me, especially when I’m going through a tough time. Thank you for being honest with yourself and those who follow in your footsteps, about life, its difficulties and its triumphs. Thank you for being humble and grateful through every moment in your life, and thank you for helping others along your wildly successful journey of life. Thank you for being the bright shining light that you are. Thank you for being you 🙂

#375. December 16th, 2015: Kate Bell

Very seldom do you come across someone as exceptional as Kate Bell. Kate embodies some of the most important characteristics that you would look for in a friend: she’s loyal, intelligent, motivating, true to herself, and hilarious behind belief. If you’re looking for a good laugh, talk to Kate. If you’re looking for someone to talk to about something personal or serious, Kate’s got you covered. She seriously has such a vast array of skills and traits, which makes sense given that she is so loved and cherished. Kate’s humor and personality is second only to her tenacity and dedication to excel and to take care of those she cares about in life. Her passion and excitement with GW’s sports has been easily one of the biggest reasons for an increase in support, pride and success, and that passion is equally shown for her friends and strangers when it comes to lending a helping hand, voice or ear. Kate, thank you so much for being a ray of bright light that knows exactly when to shine at all the right moments. You never ask for the spotlight, and when you get it, you reflect it toward others to brighten their lives. Thank you so much for making my day, a million miles away, with your twitter and snapchat game, and thank you for doing the same with your presence when I’m actually in the same city as you 🙂 Thank you for being a true rock and role model for so many people, including myself, and thank you for always encouraging us to be diligent and hardworking and honest and respectful. Thank you for being you, Kate. 🙂

#374. December 16th, 2015: Jon Weigell

Mention the name “Jon Weigell” to anyone who knows him and you can guarantee they’ll respond with a big smile and only the kindest words. You can’t help but feel sincere joy when you’re around Jon, and it’s probably one of the reasons why he’s so loved by so many people. Jon is a friend who will support you 100% and he’ll always be there to listen as well. He’s also incredibly honest and will take a stand against what he feels is wrong or unjust. He has the most contagious energy and laugh and he just makes you feel so very safe and welcomed. He’s also an absolutely wonderful actor and singer. In Charlie Brown, he made me laugh and cry and completely forget that I was watching a friend of mine. I felt immersed because of his dedication to the part and the show altogether. And on his a cappella group, it’s so clear to the audience his love for the craft and his cohesion with the team. Jon, thank you so much for being a friend and for being a part of my life. Thank you for your hysterical moments in all things Delt, especially when you stand up to give an announcement. Thank you for being such a good hugger and for being someone I’m so excited to see on the street. Thank you for being genuine and for your incredible integrity. I admire your determination and passion with what you do so very much. I’m so happy to call you a friend and brother and can’t wait to see you when I come back. Thanks for being you 🙂

#373. December 10th, 2015: Peter Sacco

The only reason I still believe in superheroes is because Peter Sacco exists. A man of the utmost integrity and dedication to others, Peter has inspired me to be a better human being since the minute I met him. Seeing and hearing about all that he does is certainly important and wowing, because he seriously changes the world everyday, but to me, the most incredible part of knowing Peter is the way he makes you feel. He listens. He looks you in the eye. He cares about what you have to say. He remembers. He smiles with sincerity. He thinks before he speaks. He is so much what I want to be in life, and he makes me feel that way not in jealously but in encouragement to achieve better and take my own path. Peter, thank you so much for being a part of my college experience and for being someone I can count on in times of great joy and great challenge. Thank you so much for having a spectacular laugh and warm personality and for always being willing to chat, even if you’re racing to the next world-changing event or meeting. You really do make time for others, and I respect the hell out of that. Thank you so much for living a life of ambition and kindness and for taking us along for the ride. Even from thousands of miles away you still manage (with ease I might add) to make me feel hopeful and happy. Thank you for being you, Peter.

#372. December 10th, 2015: Eilish Zembilci

Just typing her name makes me smile. In all seriousness, there aren’t many people with the same genuine charm, contagious smile and comforting hugs like Eilish. She is someone who only positively impacts others, whether it be through simply seeing her on the street or talking about ideas and the future. Her tenacity with everything she does is ridiculously inspiring and encourages you to implement the same energy into everything you do. When I think about Eilish, I think of someone who is grounded, dedicated and selfless. Just being around her makes you feel happy, at ease, and that you’re around someone who cares about kindness for all. She’s also absolutely beautiful, in every sense of the word. Her intelligence and drive are so wonderfully paired with her sweetness and desire to help others along the way. Eilish, thank you so very much for being a positive force in my life and for always making me smile. Thank you for caring about making change in our world in a way that takes true passion and perspective. Thank you for being so friendly and caring to everyone in your life and for checking in on me while I’ve been on this crazy adventure. When I was having a rough time with a lot in February, you sent me a text just to check in and remind me that I was supported and cared about, and it meant the world to me. That’s what I love about you – your little actions that you do everyday without a thought of recognition that make people’s day. Thank you for that, and for truly being a great person to the core. Thank you for being you, Eilish. 🙂

#371. December 10th, 2015: Alex Maloney

When I think of my friendship with Alex, I know it’s one that will truly last (and thrive) forever. There’s just some people in life who I imagine having dinner with along with his/her family later in life, like a little bbq with beer while the kids play in the backyard, and Alex is one of those people. It’s so hard to describe, but when I’m around Alex or even think of our friendship, I immediately think of his loyalty, kindness and genuine sense of respect for everyone he encounters in life. Alex is my great grand little in my fraternity, which means that I have a big brother-esque mentorship with him, but the truth is that I learn so much from him most of the time. His goofball-ness constantly refills my confidence in myself when I’m doubtful, and his intelligence and passion for computer science and problem solving pushes me to try harder at what I’m doing. Perhaps most importantly, the way he lives his life is inspiring in itself. His personality and consistent smile encourage you to be a better person, each and every day. Alex, thank you so much for being a friend that I cherish so, so very much. As I’ve been traveling, I’ve had so much time to think and reflect, and although I’ve thought all of this for awhile, my respect and admiration for you as a person, friend and brother have only increased while I’ve been away. You make any situation fun and quirky and joyful and your always-up-for-something-fun attitude is so very contagious. I also want to say thank you for what you said to me that night after voting – I’ll never forget it. Thank you for being someone I trust and can confide in. Thank you for being someone I look forward to seeing and talking to. Thank you for your excitement about life and your eagerness to be kind to people. Thank you for being you, Alex 🙂

#370: November 5th, 2014: Christina Giordano

This girl can bring a smile to your face the instant you see her 🙂 Christina is one of those crazy-awesome people that you love having around. Her energy and passion is ridiculously contagious, and the best part is that it’s completely genuine. Her intent is pure and true, and she always has something nice to say. She puts in so much effort into everything she does (which is a lot) and she does such a phenomenal job at making her friends feel loved and cared for. Honestly, I admire her ability to balance her work and friendships so well and it’s something that inspires me everyday. Christina, thank you so much for being such a beautiful and independent young woman and for inspiring all of us to be better people by following in your footsteps. Thank you so much for caring for everyone around you and for always being such a chipper and positive attitude to have in the room. Thank you for being in my life and for making me laugh with your hilarious comments and quirky personality. Thank you for being such a sweetheart and for helping so many people directly and indirectly with your actions and lifestyle. Thank you for being you 🙂

#369. October 30th, 2014: Deepa Shivaram

It’s impossible to type Deepa’s name without smiling from ear to ear 🙂 When you meet her, you are immediately blown away by her genuine enthusiasm and kindness. Her eyes are always bright with a desire to learn and explore, and she has such an amazing ability to draw people in with her energy. Deepa has been one of my best friends for a while now and has never failed to show how much she cares about others. She is always looking to help people and has a true knack for inspiring anyone around her. Deepa is also an incredible role model to so many people, including myself. I am constantly in awe of how modest and selfless she is and her attention to quality and detail. She has such a quirky personality and I love it love it love it. Her honesty is also something I truly admire about her, as well as her passion for being the best person that she can be. Deepa, thank you so so much for walking into my life that day with Ian and for emailing me 🙂 Thank you so much for being such a dedicated friend and teammate and for never failing to make me smile when I see you. Thank you for all of your incredible work with TEDxFoggyBottom and for always obsessing over the cuteness of the team 🙂 Thank you so much for being such a sweetheart and for sharing your love and compassion with the world. Thank you so much for being such a truly exquisite human being. Thank you for being you 🙂

#368. October 21st, 2014: Peyton Taets

When I first met Peyton at CI, I knew right away that she was such a sweet girl with such a big heart. Her smile is such a warming sight, and her cool and fun personality makes her so wonderful to spend time with. She is an incredible role model to so many people, including myself, and I am so proud to be her friend. She is absolutely beautiful in so many ways, and I love how I have gotten to see her grow over the last year. Peyton, thank you so much for coming into my life and for making it better by just being yourself. Thank you so much for teaching me the definition and value of strength and for being so open with me as we’ve gotten to know each other. Thank you for making me smile every time I see you, and thank you for just being a spectacular friend to everyone. Thank you for being someone I look up to and learn from, and thank you for being such a lovely resident of mine 🙂 Thank you so much for being the stunning human that you are. Thank you for being you 🙂

#367. October 21st, 2014: Ashley Trick

Are you looking to meet someone who can bring a smile to your face immediately? Are you interested in having a friend who is genuine, spunky and all-around fantastic? Then Ashley Trick is the person for you. Ashley is gorgeous, both on the outside and with her personality, morals and values. She honestly works so incredibly hard and is the walking definition of perseverance. Ashley inspires everyone around her through her actions and by simply living the life that she lives. She puts others first and would drop anything she’s doing to help a friend in need. She is someone who truly listens, and she knows when to lead and when to let others take charge. Ashley, I cannot put into words how grateful I am to have met you. Having you in classes is such a charm, and having you as a friend is a true gift. Your perspective on things is something I value deeply and I think you have such a knack at making people feel welcome. You inspire me to try harder and to appreciate more, and for that I thank you. Thank you so much for being the wonderful human being that you are. Thank you for having that lovely smile of yours, and thank you for being such an unstoppable positive force in our community and the world. Thank you for being you, Ashley 🙂