March YES Student of the Month Karine Alkhatib from Lebanon, placed by PAX in Mabel Minnesota is an A+ student at Mabel-Canton High School, and that is only the beginning of her long list of accomplishments. She enjoys her demanding schedule of classes in art, speech and creative writing, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, trigonometry, calculus, band and choir, and U.S history. Through all of it, her polite and helpful demeanor has impressed her principal and teachers.
As far as extracurricular activities go, Karine wants to experience them all. She is active in student council, knowledge bowl, yearbook, drama club, chess club, cheerleading, speech competition, band, choir, softball, and prom committee. Karine has an infectious way about her that engages other students as well. During her speech on “how to belly dance,” three brave volunteers from her class stepped up and enjoyed copying Karine's dance moves. The YES student also persuaded her fellow cheerleaders to integrate belly dancing into their winter performance. Her idea of an “Arabian Nights” theme for the prom won over her class and was voted in as the motif of the prom.
Karine is also a budding artist. She won leading parts in two school plays and was nominated by her choir teacher to be a part of the Dorian Vocal Festival held at Luther College in January. Recently, her painting “Flight for Freedom” and a woven basket were selected for a regional art show and were displayed at the Lanesboro Arts Galleries. Her painting, in fact, was selected as the art for the event’s promotional posters. At the spring band concert, Karine was chosen to perform a clarinet solo.
Despite her busy schedule, Karine finds time to spend with her host family. She can regularly be found in the center of her family’s home doing homework, cooking delicious Lebanese food, or simply hanging around for conversation and laughter. “Karine was warm and friendly from the moment we met her,” said her host mother. “We knew we were going to have a good year with her.”
In her community, Karine has shared her culture with many, though presentations to the Lions Club, the church women's club, Library Club, and Senior Diners, to the seventh through twelfth grades at school, and others. She has completed more than 155 hours of community service, including volunteering in the after-school program, helping the kindergarten teachers after school, and playing one of Santa’s elves at a Christmas event in her town’s community center.