Letting curiosity drive him toward his goals
GRAND RAPIDS Andrew Saydjari knows what he wants to do in life. The excitement is audible in his voice when he talks about his career goal of becoming of research chemist.

The Lincoln High School senior has been accepted to Yale and Harvey Mudd colleges and is waiting to hear from Columbia before he makes his final decision.

Andrew said he is driven by curiosity, a quality that has served him well in courses in which he excels, as well subjects of which he is fond.
Andrew Saydjari

Age: 17
Residence: Grand Rapids
School: Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School
Parents: Fay F. Saydjari and Omar Sami Saydjari
College Plans: Attend Yale, Harvey Mudd or Columbia
Hobbies: Violin, reading, mock trails, chess

“If you have questions about (a subject), and are pursuing it to answer those questions, it can be rather engaging,” Andrew said.

Andrew’s father, Omar Sami Saydjari, said his son “has a strong curiosity and a passion for gaining knowledge deeply, always asking ‘why’ and questioning the first answer.

“He has an ability to richly connect knowledge from all aspects of learning, thus strengthening what he learns in one field with information from another.”

Even his career goal to become of research chemist is centered around a love for curiosity.

“You’re answering questions no one knows the answers to,” Andrew said. “As a researcher, you get to be the first one to know the answer.”

In addition to taking several advanced placement classes, Andrew interned last summer at the US Naval Research Lab and plans to do so again this summer.

“His research regarding Polyelectrolyte Multilayers has been submitted to Siemens for further review in hopes of receiving a prestigious Siemens Scholarship, along with his research in print in a science journal,” wrote a Lincoln school counselor in a recommendation letter.

Andrew is no stranger to taking the necessary steps to reach his goals — in March 2011, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

“I believe that Andrew’s dedication and diligence are key to his success,” said Andrew’s mother, Fay Saydjari. “He has always been a planner, always thinking many steps ahead and aiming high.”

One of Andrew’s proudest moments in high school was when he participated in mock trial during his junior year. Although his team lost — by just one point — he was happy with what it accomplished.

“It was the culmination of a lot of hard work with a lot of good people,” Andrew said. “It was a really good end to the season. We were still happy because of how well we had done.”

His experiences in mock trial created a potential interest in law, as well.

In addition to his scouting accomplishments, he has played the violin since the age of 3 and has traveled to more than 20 countries. Although he said he doesn’t have a particular favorite, he enjoyed France (he speaks the language), the history of the Czech Republic and Australia.

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