Dual identity yields an international outlook
Eeman Khorramian could see himself entering the political world. The Palisades Charter High School senior has been highly active in school affairs and with the school’s student government since ninth grade. His leadership skills even earned him the position of student body president.
Following the Iran election protests in 2009, Khorramian co-founded a campus chapter of Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a secular nonpartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.
Khorramian said being Iranian-American has made him internationally aware, and he confessed to having an addiction to world news.
“I tend to follow BBC and international coverage rather than just American news, which focuses on domestic issues. I don’t just follow Iranian issues; the disaster in Syria and the Arab Spring really caught my attention, too,” he said.
The articulate 18-year-old said growing up Iranian and Jewish has been one of his biggest challenges so far.
“Being Iranian and Jewish has definitely been the hardest thing for me to figure out. It’s very difficult to be Iranian and proud to be an Iranian, and be Jewish and being proud of being a Jew. I’m very much in touch with both sides, and I am proud of both, and neither takes away from the other.”
Khorramian, who is graduating in the top 2 percent of his class, said studying subjects that allow him to put in his full effort is very important to him.
“I try to challenge myself in the subjects I choose, and my school has allowed me to have an interdisciplinary education,” he said. “I’ve also gotten the chance to work on leadership here.”
Khorramian is not getting sentimental about leaving high school for UCLA, but he does have a lot of praise for the education he received.
“I hear a lot of people talk about leaving in a negative sense, but I’m ready to leave,” Khorramian said. “I feel like my high school has given me everything I need to be ready for college, so I’m looking forward to this next step in my education.”
His credentials suggest a career in politics, but Khorramian isn’t rushing the decision. He’s put his major down as “undecided.”
“I’m just really looking forward to going to UCLA, and I feel like my education is just beginning,” he said excitedly. “I love biology, and I could see myself being a doctor. But I’m also fascinated by international relations. If I could find a way to merge the two as a career, that would be perfect.”