My name is Yazan Kittaneh. I was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy in 2013. I’m a computer science graduate from Grinnell College.
Why did you choose Noble?
Originally, I was not going to attend Noble. I was registered to a severely underfunded school in my East Garfield park neighborhood. My mom was talking about her concerns for the schools in the checkout line at a supermarket when a lady behind her overheard and told her to check out a new school called Rowe-Clark. That was the last possible day to sign up for the open house and lottery. Our jaws dropped as soon as we entered the building. My mom and I were impressed by the facility, all the equipment, and the teachers that were there to welcome us with open arms. That first day I met who would later be my advisor that year. I chose Noble because they were open to me and accepted me. From the beginning, they assured my mom that I would be getting a proper education.
Yazan poses for a photo with his classmates in high school at Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy.
How did your experiences at Noble help you post-graduation?
The main thing that has stayed with me from Noble is the level of comfort I had with my teachers. With office hours and LaSalles (scheduled times where you need to spend time either making up or doing the homework for certain teachers), I got accustomed to creating a strong line of communication with my teachers. I felt comfortable being open with them and asking them questions. In college, this helped me be more comfortable in communicating with my professors about difficulty in work, obstacles in my personal life, and cultivate a relationship. Those relationships led to opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been presented to me.
What advice would you want to share with Noble students?
Keep in contact with people from Noble. Friends from your school, teachers, advisors, everyone. We all think we’ll be in contact with everyone out of Noble but it gets harder when distance is involved and you start going through hardships. However, that’s when you will need them the most. Maintain those relationships and be comfortable in reaching out when you need advice or assistance throughout your future career.