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MHS senior attends Princeton camp

Imai Anabayan, senior, is pictured on the Princeton campus during the three day symposium.

Photographed by Imai Anabayan

Imai Anabayan, senior, is pictured on the Princeton campus during the three day symposium.

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From Oct. 13 to 17, Princeton University hosted its eighteenth annual Creative Arts & Humanities Symposium, a prestigious camp designed for motivated high school students that have shown promise in the humanities.

The symposium had an attendance of 100 students during its 2017 session, according to the program’s website. Imai Anabayan, senior, was one of those invited to attend.

“I found out I was selected through an email,” Anabayan said. “I was obviously elated when I discovered that I was accepted, as the program is highly selective and was an unforgettable experience.”

Right from the beginning, the symposium had attracted Anabayan’s eye because of its emphasis on the humanities, a subject that Anabayan regularly enjoys studying.

“The humanities are important because they reveal, as the name suggests, our humanity,” Anabayan said. “I’ve always been interested in stories and history is the story of people. There is value to be found in history and humanities because everyone is just as human as everyone yesterday.”

In retrospect, Anabayan considers the symposium a profound and unique learning experience that introduced him to elements of academia that high school doesn’t offer.

“The symposium was a great experience,” Anabayan said. “I attended two symposiums taught by Princeton faculty and was able to also attend an art workshop also taught by a Princeton professor. I was even able to make some friends.”

Anabayan was nominated by Emily Diaz, college counselor, as an applicant to the four-day program. Anabayan then had to compete with other students in the nation for one of 100 spots.

“This is a program that Princeton does for students who are passionate about the arts and humanities,” Diaz said. “From the first time I met Imai, he made it very clear that he is passionate about the humanities from everything he does at MHS and extracurricularly and to his future career goals. That’s why I nominated him.”

Since Diaz began working at MHS, three students from years prior have attended the symposium, according to her.

Diaz sees the symposium as a stepping stone into a future career in the humanities for Imai.

“I think anytime a student has the opportunity to engage in academic ‘professional development,’ it’s a good thing,” Diaz said. “Not only do opportunities like this give students the chance to learn from others, but they also give them the chance to network, step out of their comfort zones, and be challenged in new ways.”

Anabayan’s father Anabayan Kessavalou stated that both he and Imai’s mother were incredibly excited to see Imai partake in such an opportunity.

“We were very excited for him and were glad that he was going to the program and has a new experience in something that he is interested in,” Kessavalou said.

Acceptance into the program was a testament to Imai’s work ethic and determination to succeed, Kessavalou said.

“He is very motivated to learn more and work hard,” Kessavalou said. “Going to the program provided an opportunity to learn more while also showing that hard work can pay off.”

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MHS senior attends Princeton camp