Yessmeen Moharram

My fellow fine arts majors may dread going home for the holidays and having to hear, “Why fine arts? Couldn’t you do something more substantial, like computer science or something?” over and over. I however, love questions like that. I think it’s great to always think about your purpose in life, and know how to justify the path you have chosen to travel on. I have chosen to study theatre, because it encompasses everything that is important to me, communication, community and, collaboration. Theatre is creating with a purpose. To share the stories of people that might not otherwise have a voice, to educate or expose others to issues that might have never crossed their minds, or to simply transport people to a whole other world for a few hours is an incredibly fulfilling experience. Not only has theatre provided a lot for me, but I also get to give back to the theatre community, through the unique identity I have and what I bring to the table. I am a third culture kid, being an Arab American, who has lived both in the United States and overseas. One of the many things an experience abroad has exposed me to is the difference between sympathy and empathy, and how many people may feel bad about a situation, but never truly understand what the affected person(s) is going through. I want to use theatre and performance as a tool to encourage empathy, and a larger, world view. Although I might not know exactly where a degree in theatre will lead me, I know that I want to be a part of social change and to contribute to a positive media and pop-culture force through artistic means. My reasons for why I’m passionate about theatre, also influence the other activities I’ve sought out. I’m very interested in advocacy, and hope to somehow get involved in student government on campus. Community service is also really important to me, as I think it is only through giving, that you truly find yourself and feel fulfilled. In my free time, I absolutely love to be outdoors, especially going hiking, or kayaking. I also love to cook, read, take pictures, and just spend time with people around me. I also really love birds, especially gloster canaries.

Major: Theatre and Dance

Extracurricular Activities:
– Fine Arts Council Member
– APO Theatre Honor Society Member

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
I initially heard about the Forty Acres Scholar Program while attending a Fine Arts information session at UT Austin. I then did my own research further into the program, and found it to be everything that I wanted. UT Austin as a university is absolutely exceptional. It embodies the values of academic excellence, as well as promoting a very diverse and rich cultural/social experience. This is also exemplified in the Forty Acres program, as I believe this program will encourage me to achieve in all areas more than before and expand my horizons significantly by putting me in close collaboration with people who have a wide range of academic studies, world views, and skills.