From Egypt with love: Yacoub takes road less traveled

When Marko Yacoub graduates with a B.S. in Biology on Friday, December 19, 2014, it will be the realization of his dream and the culmination of a long journey for him and his family.

He and his family moved from Egypt to the United States when he was just four-year-old. Their decision was spurred by the fact that his older brother had cerebral palsy and that they would have better access to healthcare in this country. Although his father was well educated and had a good job in Saudi Arabia, his degrees did not transfer to the United States and the family basically had to start over after making the move. Despite this fact, they have learned new careers and rebuilt their lives in the United States.

?Penn State was the only college I applied to,? commented Yacoub. Although his original intention was to stay at Berks for two years and major in Engineering, he became involved on campus and decided to stay for all four year.

He also decided to change his major to Biology, partially due to his brother?s condition. ?I wanted to do something to help people,? he explains 

While at Penn State Berks, he served as the dental affairs chair for the college pre-med society, a student club. He was also a peer mentor, an orientation captain, a member of the student government association, and treasurer and public relations chair for the college?s International Club.

In addition, his sister is currently a student at Penn State University Park and plans to come to Penn State Berks next semester. He jokes that he is working on recruiting his younger sister, 9, to enroll.

When asked how his time at Penn State Berks has prepared him for the future, he stated, ?Through the diversity on campus. Coming from a conservative household, I wasn?t always open to different points of view. I see a difference in myself from my freshman year to my senior year. Now I?m more accepting of different people and different backgrounds.?

?The leadership opportunities on campus make you the person you really want to be,? he adds.

Now Yacoub has his sites set on another journey: applying to dental school.