Commissioner Staples Honors Zain Syed of Paris Junior High School With ‘GROW’ Award (12/17/2012)

AUSTIN — Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today honored Zain Syed, a seventh grader from Paris Junior High School in Paris, Texas, as the winner of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s monthly GROW award. The award Gives Recognition for Outstanding Work to middle and high school students who demonstrate leadership and excellence inside and outside the classroom.

“I congratulate Zain for earning the TDA GROW award,” Commissioner Staples said. “The future of our great state rests in the hands of students like Zain who embody the character and work ethic that will continue to keep Texas at the forefront of today’s competitive global economy.”

Zain, who serves on the student council, also is a member of MENSA, the Duke University Talent Identification Program and Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth.

He placed first in the junior division at the Texas Exxon Mobile Science Fair and was awarded top prizes at the Texas Future Problem Solving Bowl and the International Future Problem Solving competition.

“I feel privileged to be the recipient of the Texas Department of Agriculture GROW award,” Zain said. “As students, we can all make a positive difference to society as a whole. In fact, I feel we have a responsibility to contribute to our communities and protect the environment. I would like to thank Paris ISD and the city of Paris, Texas, for their continued support that inspires students to reach greater heights.”

Zain's Future Problem Solving project, entitled “Campaign Epidemic,” helped educate the community about prescription drugs and their possible misuse. As part of that project, he raised funds to install the first medication disposal unit in Lamar County.

Zain also was a semi-finalist at Broadcom Masters 2012, and a Huggable Heroes 2012 semi-finalist. In the future, he plans to become a doctor or surgeon.

“Zain Syed is an awesome student at Paris Junior High,” Principal Althea Dixon said. “He is a well-rounded individual with great character. We are very proud of Zain’s accomplishments, but most importantly, we are proud of his work ethic and leadership.”

To learn more about Zain’s accomplishments, click here.

Commissioner Staples established the GROW award to celebrate outstanding student leaders who demonstrate excellence in their academic or extracurricular activities. Students can be nominated by community leaders committed to recognizing youth leadership and achievement.

To nominate a promising middle or high school student, visit the TDA website at TexasAgriculture.gov. One GROW award winner is chosen monthly. Applications for next month’s award are due Jan. 1, 2013.

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