Third-World to Appalachia

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Salik Rashid came to this country from Pakistan eight years ago. He lived near New York for a while, but, for the past six years, he's attended school in Saint Marys, eventually becoming an all-state soccer player.

"Coming from Pakistan was a huge move, coming to this country and experiencing new customs and a new way of life," Rashid told us. "But I think I've learned a lot and it's been a great experience. When I first came here, it was different for me. I was still new in the country, and I had to learn everything, but the community was very friendly, and they brought me out."

Coming not only to a new country but to a new community, Salik at first had difficulty interacting with people. Going to the Pleasants County Boys and Girls Club helped him find new friends.

Salik graduates from Saint Marys High this year. Continuing his world travels, he plans to study medicine in China, with the hope of eventually becoming a doctor.

"To help people basically, and I hope to build a hospital someday," Rashid says. "I've seen poverty first-hand in Pakistan, and I want to be one who looks at the patients and not their pockets."

Salik will receive a $3,500 scholarship toward that education. $1,000 of the money comes from the Readers Digest Foundation, the rest provided by Allstate Insurance.

Two of the three previous winners are now attending college in this country, and the third, Rosie Dillion, is a senior at St. Marys high this year.

Salik goes on to compete for the Midwest Regional Youth Competition this summer.