STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Nicolas Sayegh
OKLAHOMA CITY – Nicolas Sayegh grew up in a diverse community and was raised by a single parent. He eventually realized that he wants to give back to his community. An academically accomplished Cherokee Nation citizen, Sayegh has plans to do so by becoming an executive in corporate America.
He recently graduated from the Western Heights High School with a 4.0 GPA, selected valedictorian of his senior class and has obtained several accolades including being a Presidential Scholar. Each year, up to 161 students are names such scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
“It was the biggest surprise and honor for me to be considered one of the two students to represent the entire state,” Sayegh said.
He said it’s important to him because he is able to represent students with backgrounds such as his.
Sayegh also acquired an associate’s degree from Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City before graduating high school, the first student to do so at Western Heights.
He said his school paid for his concurrent expenses so that he was able to take college courses his junior and senior year.
“I’d really encourage other schools to look into that program. We’ve only had the program going rigorously for a couple of years but I’m the first student at Western Heights to graduate with an associate’s degree,” he said. “My counselor brought it up one day and I was like that’s going to be me. I’m going to try and do that. It’s pretty cool that it was all able to work out.”
Several other awards and honors Sayegh has collected include being named an Oklahoma Academic All-State member, Oklahoma Indian Honors Society Scholar, Horatio Alger National Scholar, National Dell Scholar, Elks Most Valuable Student national finalist and Oklahoma Music Educators Association All-State percussionist.
He plans to attend Oklahoma City University, double majoring in marketing and finance and eventually enter the business world to become an executive.
“I think that many business executives, obviously it comes with a nice paycheck, but you also have the power to give back to your community through the position that you’re given especially after,” Sayegh said. “Like once you’ve made money and have power, I see it as anyone’s responsibility who has any amount of money or power to then give back to the less privileged people around you and of course where you came from and your background.”
He said he would like to tell fellow Cherokees to not be afraid to step outside their comfort zones when figuring out what they want to do in life.
“I’m an example of no one is too young to make a difference,” he said. “I’ve seen people younger than me do far greater things. I would just like see the world be better off if all children of all ages could understand the impact they could make in their community and the power that being young really has.”