School: San Jose State University
Sponsor: Foundation for Intelligent Giving (FIG)
Fatema Elbakoury is a senior at San Jose State University. She is studying English with a Concentration in Creative Writing and minoring in Religious Studies. She hopes to further study religion in a manner that will illuminate her fiction writing by receiving an MFA and attending a divinity school. Currently, she is a staff writer for Odyssey and a contributing writer for Elite Daily. She also works on campus as a Peer Educator; her work there revolves around mentoring first-semester freshmen students so as to increase retention rates. In the past, she’s worked for two years as a Diversity Advocate at the San Jose State’s Mosaic Cross Cultural Center, where she generated nearly a dozen programs on a variety of social justice issues. In the fall, she will begin working as a Writing Fellow with students from several disciplines in order to support them with their writing. She has also served an 18 month term as a Salzburg Scholar, where her work involved creating a grassroots campaign that would globalize the SJSU campus. She has received several scholarship for her writing—fiction and nonfiction alike—such as the Lois King Thore Scholarship for Best Short Story, and the Maxine Fink Award for Best Humanities Essay. She has been on SJSU’s President’s List, and Dean’s List and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key International Honor Society.