A Chat with the Student of the Year

  1. Why did you choose ASK? You come from Klina so you might have encountered difficulties in terms of distance or any other challenge that might have come up accessing the school?

    – Last year I was working with the youth centre and they were offering a Model United Nations club which my brother signed up for. My brother invited me to sign up too but I was hesitant at first. My brother was a senior and everyone else was either in 11th or 12th grade while I was an 8th grader. Still, I thought it was a great opportunity so I joined. I learned that the advisor of the club was an American named Andrew. Mr Andrew was applying for a job at ASK and learned about the scholarships being offered and told me about them. I immediately began researching about the school and learned some amazing things. I even asked a friend of mine (Fjolla Dedaj) about ASK, she then proceeded to tell me about how ASK helped her achieve goals she never even knew existed. Armed with all the information I could find I then began to tell my parents. However, they immediately shut down the idea. I did not want to accept no for an answer so we made a deal. If I could get a 90% scholarship and above then they would allow me to go to ASK. They tried to set an impossible requirement but clearly, they did not know me well enough. After a month of anxiety, the results came out and I was given the 90% scholarship. My parents were happy and amazed at the same time. With that out of the way, I could now attend the American School of Kosova.

2. Robert, recently ASK awarded you with a 100% scholarship. What does that mean to you and how will it motivate you in the next academic year?

  • Winning the 100% scholarship meant that all my hard work has paid off and it made me extremely happy. I remember when I was telling my little sister that I won the 100% scholarship she said “Wow Robert you got really lucky” I then replied, “ I did not get lucky, I worked hard”.Knowing that all my hard work has been valued and rewarded makes me want to work that much harder. Knowing that there are people who are cheering for me motivates me to reach my fullest potential.

3. You have scored really high in the MAP in math this year.  How do you relate ASK to this tremendous result?

  • Ever since I was a child I had always loved math. I have always participated in math competitions and always achieved high scores. When we were collecting our books I remember that I first opened the math book to scan what we were going to learn. When I got home I started to solve some problems from the book, and I realized that I knew most of what we were going to learn. I then went around asking if it was possible to skip a grade in math. They said yes it was and so I immediately started working towards passing a grade in math. In November I had my classes changed from 9th-grade Algebra to 10th-grade Algebra. This single factor helped me improve in math more than anything else I did or could have done. If I hadn’t skipped a grade im sure I would have actually deteriorated my math skills, because I would no longer be challenging myself and I would have gotten lazy. If ASK had not given me the opportunity to skip a grade then the score I got would never have been imaginable.

  4. Explain your experience as a member of the MUN club. What do you think you learned from such an opportunity?

  • The MUN club is the most hardworking club in the school. Every time you are in there you are either preparing for a conference or attending a conference there is no in between. MUN helps you develop a wide range of skills. You get to learn debating skills, research skills, time management skills but most importantly public speaking skills. Once you are at a conference you have to get up in a room full of strangers and to convince them why this method is the best method. The number of strangers can range from tens to hundreds depending on the size of the conference. The ability to get up in front of a crowd and speak confidently and accurately is one of the most important skills in life, and MUN helps you develop that skill.

5.   What other ASK clubs are you a member of and what have you learned from participation in such extracurricular activities?

  • I was also on the executive team of the student senate. Being part of the student senate was a lot of fun. We got to organize events and parties which turned out extremely successful. The most valuable skill I gained from the Senate is teamwork. You can not credit the work of the Senate to a single person, everyone leaned on each other for support and everyone’s job relied on someone else finishing their job. We built on each others ideas, someone came up with the name, someone else with the theme and so on. This is a skill you don’t learn in a class which makes it that much more valuable.

6.   What do you consider to be your biggest strength which you have built/developed at ASK?

  • The greatest skill I developed while at ASK was Self-discipline. Self-discipline is the ability to do the thing that has to be done, at the time it needs to be done, whether you want to or not. To get up at 5 am and not press the snooze button requires a lot of self-discipline. To not watch TV and instead work on the project that’s due by the end of the month also requires tremendous amounts of self-discipline. ASK showed that they had no tolerance for shortcuts. They taught me that there is no easy way to get an A. As the saying goes “ The elevator to success is out of order but the stairs are always open”

7.   Where do you aspire to be in next 5 years and how is ASK preparing you to achieve your goals?

  • After 5 years I will be in college, my goal is to enter one of the top 10% of colleges in the US. ASK is one of the only schools in Kosovo that offer an American based curriculum. Every day I’m learning how to speak in public, how to work in a group, how to build self-discipline and these are undoubtedly some of the most important skills in life and I owe them all to ASK.
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