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Beneen Salim


Bold Points






As a first-generation college graduate, I'm deeply passionate about pursuing a higher education and a career in pediatrics. My parents immigrated from Iraq to the U.S. hoping for a better future. I'm committed to making my family proud by making a meaningful impact in my community. Inspired by the lack of healthcare access in my home country, I aspire to become a doctor to improve access to quality health services and educate others about preventative care. With resilience, determination, and empathy, I am driven to excel academically and make a difference in people's lives. I hope to contribute positively to society and fulfill my aspirations of helping others.


Sunset High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Majors of interest:

    • Public Health
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

    • Front desk management

      Tualatin hills parks and recreation center
      2024 – Present7 months
    • Sales floor + Cashier

      Columbia Sportswear
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Food Server

      Laurel Parc at Bethany
      2023 – 20241 year



    2022 – 20242 years


    2022 – Present2 years

    Track & Field

    2022 – 20231 year


    • Law

      Sunset High School — Interviewer and Writer of reasearch paper. I went out and held an interview with a law firm business owner and a domestic violence support group.
      2022 – 2023


    • Sunset High School- Student Government program

      2021 – 2023

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Islamic Center of Portland — volunteer crew
      2019 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Iraqi Arabic School — Teacher Assistant and Arabic Tutor
      2019 – 2024

    Future Interests





    "The Summer I Turned Pretty" Fan Scholarship
    Choosing between Team Conrad and Team Jeremiah in "The Summer I Turned Pretty" series is no easy task, as both characters bring unique qualities and moments that make them endearing. However, if I had to choose, I would align myself with Team Conrad. Here’s why: Firstly, Conrad's character is marked by his emotional depth and the significant growth he undergoes throughout the series. Initially, Conrad is portrayed as brooding and distant, struggling with the weight of family expectations and personal issues, including his mother's illness. His complexity is evident in scenes where he tries to shield his pain from others, such as when he hides his grief about his mother's cancer to protect his brother and Belly. This selflessness, though often misunderstood, showcases his deep love and protective nature. His ability to carry such heavy burdens silently and still remain considerate of others' feelings adds a profound layer to his character that resonates strongly with readers. Secondly, the unspoken connection between Conrad and Belly is a central element that defines their relationship. This connection, which has been developing since their childhood, is evident in the small, meaningful moments between them. For instance, in the first book, Conrad's actions during the bonfire scene – where he saves Belly from embarrassment and then silently supports her – speak volumes about his feelings. These moments of silent understanding and support create a strong emotional bond that is palpable and enduring. Unlike more overt displays of affection, these subtle interactions underscore a deep-rooted bond that has been nurtured over years. Furthermore, Conrad’s vulnerability and honesty as the series progresses make his character even more appealing. His candid confessions and emotional breakdowns reveal his true self to Belly, breaking the barrier of his seemingly aloof exterior. In "It's Not Summer Without You," Conrad's heartfelt plea for Belly to stay when she considers leaving shows his desperation and genuine love. This vulnerability makes him relatable and humanizes his character, contrasting with his earlier enigmatic persona. It is through these moments of openness that readers see the real Conrad, a young man struggling to navigate his emotions and responsibilities. Additionally, Conrad's protective instincts towards Belly are another significant aspect of his character. Despite his personal struggles, he consistently puts Belly's well-being above his own. This is evident in various instances, such as when he intervenes during conflicts to defend her or when he subtly ensures her safety and happiness. His actions, often understated, highlight his deep-seated care and responsibility towards those he loves. This protective nature is not just a facet of his personality but a demonstration of his deep and abiding love for Belly. Moreover, Conrad’s journey is also one of redemption. He acknowledges his mistakes and strives to become a better person for Belly. This is particularly evident in the third book, "We'll Always Have Summer," where Conrad makes amends for his past actions and miscommunications. His growth from a troubled teenager to a mature young adult who can express his love and commitment is a powerful narrative arc that resonates deeply. This redemption arc not only enriches his character but also makes his love for Belly more profound and enduring. While both Conrad and Jeremiah have their merits, it is Conrad's emotional depth, unspoken connection with Belly, vulnerability, protective nature, redemption arc, and shared history with Belly that make him the more compelling choice. Team Conrad, for me, represents a profound and enduring love that is built on years of shared experiences and personal growth, making their relationship truly special and captivating.
    Headbang For Science
    1. My name is Beneen Salim and I am from Iraq, a country rich in history and culture but often fraught with conflict. My family immigrated to Oregon in search of a better future. Despite the many challenges my parents faced, including the inability to pursue higher education due to socio-political unrest, they instilled in us the value of education. As the eldest of eight children in a low-income household, I have learned the importance of perseverance, responsibility, and the support of a close-knit family. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am an outgoing and outdoorsy person. I find solace and inspiration in nature, whether it’s hiking through Oregon’s beautiful trails or spending time by the coast. Furthermore, one of my biggest passions is heavy metal. Some of my favorite heavy metal artists are Lost Society, Metallica, and Black Sabbath. 2. Academically, I aim to excel in my studies and graduate with honors in my chosen field, with a focus on pediatrics. Professionally, I aspire to become a pediatrician, dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children. In the long term, I have a vision of giving back to my roots by funding and establishing a hospital in Iraq. This hospital would focus on providing comprehensive medical care to children and support for families in need. By doing so, I hope to address some of the healthcare challenges faced by the community I come from and ensure that children have access to the medical services they deserve. My ultimate goal is to leverage my education and professional skills to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children both in the U.S. and in Iraq. I am particularly interested in community outreach, mentorship programs, and healthcare advocacy to drive systemic change and support future generations. 3. This scholarship award is crucial for me as it will alleviate the financial burden of pursuing higher education. Coming from a low-income family with eight members, we often struggle to cover basic household expenses, let alone the cost of tuition and other academic fees. Receiving this scholarship would not only allow me to focus on my studies without the constant stress of financial constraints but also enable me to take advantage of opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. It would be a significant step toward achieving my academic and professional goals and honoring my parents' sacrifices. 4. In addition to applying for scholarships, I work part-time to contribute to my educational expenses. I am also exploring financial aid options, including grants and loans, to help cover tuition, books, and other school-related costs. My goal is to minimize debt while maximizing the value of my education. I am committed to maintaining a high academic standard to qualify for merit-based scholarships and other financial support throughout my academic journey. With the combination of hard work, financial aid, and scholarships, I am determined to make my educational aspirations a reality. 5. Heavy Metal music has been a powerful outlet for me, offering both solace and strength during challenging times. The themes of resilience, rebellion, and perseverance in Heavy Metal lyrics mirror my own experiences of overcoming obstacles and fighting for a better future. Interestingly, when people usually look at me, they don't think I listen to Heavy Metal because of my appearance. This has taught me an important lesson about breaking stereotypes and embracing individuality. My love for Heavy Metal is a testament to the fact that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover and that everyone has unique facets to their personality. Heavy Metal is not just a genre of music; it is a form of release and a reminder of the strength within me. It symbolizes my journey, my battles, and my triumphs. The music's ability to channel complex emotions and foster a sense of community among fans has been a source of comfort and motivation for me. Heavy Metal has become an integral part of my identity, reinforcing the power of perseverance and self-expression.
    Young Women in STEM Scholarship
    1.My name is Beneen Salim. I was born and raised in Oregon, but my roots lie in Iraq. I am planning to be a pediatric doctor with a focus on public health, driven by my family’s support and the challenging healthcare issues in Iraq, particularly affecting women and children. Growing up, I witnessed my family's dedication and sacrifices, which instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility to give back to my community. The lack of adequate healthcare in Iraq, especially for vulnerable demographics, has further fueled my determination. I am mainly motivated by the stories of children and mothers suffering from insufficient medical resources and support. If I could do anything with my life, I imagine dedicating my career to improving healthcare access and quality for women and children in underserved regions. My vision includes providing direct medical care as a pediatrician and advocating for systemic change in public health policies. I hope to empower communities to take charge of their health by focusing on preventative care and health education. This dual approach, combining clinical practice with public health initiatives, would allow me to make a significant and lasting impact. In addition to my professional aspirations, I am motivated to inspire young women, especially those from similar backgrounds, to pursue a career in STEM and medicine. I believe that representation matters, and seeing someone who looks like them in these roles can encourage them to strive for their goals. By sharing my experiences, I hope to create an empowering environment that fosters confidence and resilience in these young women. 2. My excitement for STEM began in childhood, fueled by a natural curiosity and passion for understanding how things work. From dismantling toys to exploring the natural world, STEM has always been a source of inspiration and fascination for me. As a Muslim woman of color, I am profoundly aware of the underrepresentation of people like me in STEM careers. This realization has only strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in this field, aiming to break stereotypes and inspire young girls with a similar dream to mine. I feel that I could make a positive impact on the world through a career in information technology because technology is a powerful tool for solving complex problems and improving lives. I can contribute to creating innovative healthcare solutions and improving access to medical information for both professionals and patients through information technology. Information technology plays a crucial role in public health initiatives, such as tracking disease outbreaks and managing vaccination campaigns. Designing and maintaining systems that collect and analyze health data can lead to more effective public health strategies and better outcomes for communities. Moreover, information technology enables the implementation of telemedicine, significantly improving healthcare access in remote and underserved areas. Developing secure and user-friendly telehealth applications can bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients who lack easy access to medical facilities. This is particularly relevant for regions like Iraq, where many challenges often hinder medical services. By leveraging technology, I aim to enhance the efficiency and reach of healthcare services, contributing to a more equitable and effective healthcare system globally. 3. One of the most significant challenges I’ve had to overcome is experiencing racism early on due to my hijab and the stereotypes that existed towards Muslims. Before people even met me, they often judged me based on a piece of fabric, overlooking who I truly am. The prejudice was particularly difficult to overcome during my youth years, affecting my confidence and sense of belonging. However, rather than letting it diminish my spirit, I used these experiences as motivation to excel and prove my worth beyond preconceived notions. To overcome this challenge, I focused on building a solid sense of self and surrounding myself with supportive people who recognized and valued me for my character and abilities. I also sought platforms to voice my experiences and advocate for greater understanding and acceptance. By excelling academically and engaging in community service, I demonstrated that one’s worth is defined by their actions and contributions, not by superficial judgments. I have also found strength in my cultural and religious identity, using it as a source of pride rather than a barrier. I became involved in diversity and inclusion clubs at school and in my community, working to create spaces where others find strength in their identity. These experiences have shaped my resilience and fueled my commitment to creating a more inclusive community. I am determined to be a role model and a source of encouragement, showing that perseverance and self-belief can overcome even the most ingrained biases. As I move forward in my career, I am dedicated to breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations of underrepresented individuals in STEM and healthcare.
    Snap EmpowHER Scholarship
    My name is Beneen Salim, and from a young age, I have been driven by a passionate desire to heal and nurture the youngest among us. Growing up in war-torn Iraq, I witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of inadequate healthcare, particularly on children and women. These experiences didn’t just shape me, they evoked an unwavering passion within me to become a pediatrician. My dream is not just a career goal but a mission to transform lives and bring hope to those who need it most. Back in Iraq, the healthcare system has led to devasting impacts on the community. Continuous conflict and a fragile economy have led to a dire situation where essential medical services are scarce. This crisis disproportionately affects the most vulnerable demographic- children and women. The rising number of deaths each year due to insufficient healthcare is a heart-wrenching statistic that I am determined to change. Children, who are the future of any nation, suffer the most. The lack of access to pediatric care means that preventable diseases often become fatal. My career path excited me because it is not about treating illnesses; it’s about giving children the chance to grow up healthy and achieve their potential. The thought of being a pediatrician fills me with a sense of purpose. I envision myself providing medical care comfort and hope to both children and their families. The ability to alleviate pain and contribute to a child’s well-being is incredibly fulfilling and drives me every day. In the future, I plan to work as a doctor in the United States, where I can hone my skills and gain valuable experience. However, my ultimate goal extends beyond my practice here. I am committed to giving back to my roots by funding and establishing a hospital in Iraq. This facility will employ certified medical staff dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare to the local population. I aim to create a safe haven where children and women can receive the care they need. Supporting women’s empowerment is also a crucial aspect of my vision. In many parts of Iraq, women face significant barriers to accessing healthcare. By ensuring that a hospital offers specialized services for women, I hope to contribute to their empowerment. Access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right, and by providing it, we can help women lead healthier lives and support their families and communities more effectively. To prepare for this journey, I plan to attend a 4-year university and actively seek opportunities that immerse me in pediatric care through volunteer work and internships. Currently, I am involved in advocacy efforts, working with organizations dedicated to healthcare improvements and women’s rights both locally and internationally. These experiences are shaping me into a well-rounded individual, equipping me with the knowledge, empathy, and leadership skills necessary to drive meaningful change in healthcare and champion the rights of women and children. Becoming a pediatrician is more than a career aspiration; it is a heartfelt commitment to addressing the healthcare disparities that I have witnessed throughout my life. By working in the United States, I will gain the expertise needed to make a profound impact, and my ultimate goal is to establish a hospital in Iraq that provides much-needed medical care to children and women. This journey is about creating a legacy of compassion, health, and empowerment, ensuring that the most vulnerable receive the care they deserve by fostering a healthier future for communities near and far.