ADA — High school has been a busy experience for Ada senior Saed Al-Olimat.
“I was in football, I’m on the track team as well,” he said. “I’m in the foreign language club. I’m a member of National Honor Society, art club and book club.”
Going to a school with a proud football tradition, it is no surprise that the sport was a big part of Al-Olimat’s high school experience.
“I was in JV my freshman year and have played varsity since my sophomore year,” he said. “I’m done with football now, but the team is doing conditioning right now and I’m there with them. I did that for four years and I don’t know what else to do now. I’m pushing a lot of the guys in the weight room, trying to give something back to the program that’s given me so much.”
However, academics are still a high priority for Al-Olimat.
“I’ve also been looking through colleges seeing where I want to go and I’ve been studying for the ACT,” he said. “I’m going to major in pharmacy and try to minor either in business or marketing. Right now, it’s between Duquesne and St. John’s.”
It has been a struggle at times for Al-Olimat to balance all of his commitments, but for him, the secret is being self-aware enough to know what he can handle.
“Juggling friends and football has been a hassle, at times,” he said. “You just have to know your limits.”
Even with Al-Olimat’s committment to academics and athletics, he also has a heart for the community.
“I help with the Saudi Arabians that are here as an interpreter,” he said. “I don’t know the exact details of the program, but I know police officers from Saudi Arabia come here to study. There’s a lot of people that come in and out.”
Working with people from other cultures comes easily to Al-Olimat, coming from a multicultural background himself.
“My dad’s from Jordan and my mom’s from Taiwan,” he said. “I was born here and everything, but by visiting family back in Jordan, I picked up the language. It’s a nice experience.”
Being able to travel to both Jordan and Taiwan with his parents, both of whom are dual citizens, has exposed Al-Olimat to a wide variety of cultures.
“Going to Jordan, you see all these different customs, but then going to Taiwan, you see a completely different set of customs from both Jordan and America,” he said. “Whether it’s the food or the way they act, it’s so different. When I was younger, I didn’t think too much of it, but in talking with friends, a lot of them haven’t even left Ohio. It really opens up your mindset so you can see the bigger picture.”
Al-Olimat last went to Jordan two years ago, but he plans on visiting Taiwan again soon.
“I’m going to go to Taiwan this summer just to see some of the family before I go to college,” he said.
No matter where his travels take him, serving others is a major part of this Ada senior’s long-term goals.
“I like to take part in the community as much as I can,” he said. “Football helped out with that. We volunteered at the [Veterans of Foreign Wars] as a team, and that just opened up the door to volunteering and helping people out. It’s always a nice feeling at the end of the day knowing you helped other people.”