Sterling Heights graduate offered $2.2 million in scholarships

It's been a good summer for Sterling Heights student Sam Saba. The Utica Community Schools (UCS) graduate has gained acceptance to the six Ivy League universities and more than $2.2 million in scholarship offers. 

Saba has been accepted into Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Brown University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He will be enrolling at Harvard University on a full-ride in the fall.

“I try not to seek affirmation from the college application process, but it definitely has been a boost in morale and a testament to the opportunities that are open to all types of students in UCS, regardless of their background,” says Saba.

“Sam’s story reflects what our staff and community value and want for all of our students,” UCS superintendent Dr. Christine Johns says. “Through hard work, the relationships he formed with his teachers and administrators, and the opportunities available in UCS, Sam has had every door opened to him to pursue his dreams for the future.”

Saba has been a life-long UCS student, attending Graebner Elementary, Bemis Junior High School and the UAIS. He graduated this year as a Valedictorian and credits his involvement in school–going back to clubs at his elementary school–for his success.

“Through every school and every experience in UCS I have always been able to find mentors–teachers, administrators, principals, or older students–and that has made the biggest difference in my life,” he says. 

At Harvard, Saba will pursue Middle Eastern and Global studies with the goal of becoming an ambassador or working with a non-profit humanitarian organization. He said his career interest in conflict resolution and humanitarian efforts was formed by both his cultural background and his study of conflict.

“The idea of college being so important has always been instilled in me, and I always believed I could do it and should try,” he says. “I never thought I would be here with a smile on my face saying I was going to go to Harvard.”

Read more articles by Kate Roff.

Kate Roff is a freelance writer and editor, currently based out of Detroit. Contact her at
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