Cohort 15 FY Progress


The KGSP’s Foundation Year (FY) students of Cohort 15 have wrapped up their first semester in the United States. At partner institutions including North Carolina State University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Texas at Austin, FY students spent the fall semester engaged in college preparatory courses such as math and writing in anticipation of TOEFL and SAT exams, college applications, and future STEM courses in their undergraduate programs. The KGSP’s FY Advisors supported students as they settled into their college communities, helped them identify potential undergraduate universities, and guided them through the college application process. The FY program saw its first ever perfect SAT score of 1600 this year -, a signifier of the hard work and dedication the program embodies.

Ali Alsaleh

Image 1: Ali Alsaleh, North Carolina State University, Chemical Science

Ali Alsaleh, an FY student at NC State scored 1600 on his SATs. He enjoyed writing classes where he was able to incorporate techniques in analysis and creative writing to his college application. For his undergraduate career, Ali’s intended major is Chemical Science, and he is interested in the use of organic porous polymers for the storage or separation of gases. 

Mohammed Alabbas

Image 2: Mohammed Alabbas, North Carolina State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mohammed Alabbas, an FY student at North Carolina State University said,  “During the university application process, I was immeasurably supported by the KGSP's Foundation Year program at NC State. It has provided a well-thought-out schedule for each subject, leading us to push our boundaries and achieve our goals.” Mohammed also added, “Next semester will be a crucial time to prepare for my undergraduate studies. I am looking forward to the challenges it may bring... and I am also looking forward to college preparatory courses such as physics and calculus, giving me the advantage to propel through my freshman year in college.” He hopes to major in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with research interests surrounding artificial intelligence, biotechnology, neuroscience, complex systems, and network science and computation.

Faris Abuzinadah

Image 3: Faris Abuzinadah, University of Pennsylvania, Computer Science

Reflecting on his experience in the program, Faris Abuzinadah, an FY student at the University of Pennsylvania expressed his gratitude for the support he received from the KGSP. “I got a lot of support from both the KGSP and the FY program [advisors], who constantly gave me feedback, from technical reviews to essay coaching,” Faris said. “In the future, as an undergraduate, I look forward to researching computer vision in artificial intelligence.” Faris’ intended undergraduate major is Computer Science.

Lana Almahyimed

Image 4: Lana Almahyimed, North Carolina State University, Mechanical Engineering

For Lana Almahyimed, an FY student at NC State with an intended major in Mechanical Engineering, her academic writing course and connecting with other FY students were highlights of the program, so far. “I was able to dissect and analyze fictional texts from both a thematic and linguistic perspective,” Lana said. “Additionally, I have adapted to living alone and abroad for the first time ever. The past semester has taught me that although things may seem hard at first sight, there is nothing that we can’t do.” Lana’s research interests include medical robots, machine learning and biomechanics, and she is looking forward to expanding on those interests in the spring through a class on artificial intelligence.

As FY students begin their Spring semester, they will continue on the college preparatory track with STEM comprehension classes alongside main campus peers. As students eagerly await their college acceptance letters, the KGSP looks forward to their many achievements as they continue their education and work towards becoming leading experts in their fields of study.