Uplift North Hills 2019 graduate, Kaleem Shabout, kicked off his trip on the Road To College when he enrolled at Uplift North Hills as a third grader. Shabout has fond memories of his years as a primary scholar.
“It was nice to be in a classroom where I was learning so many new things and getting challenged along the way,” he said.
Shabout’s academic growth was impressive, but he was excelling in pursuits outside of the classroom as well. With a father who once played for the Iraqi National Soccer Team and natural ability from an early age, Shabout set goals that included soccer after high school. In middle school and high school, teachers continued to support Shabout and challenge him to make gains in the classroom. On the field Shabout challenged himself to play club soccer against a higher level of competition in addition to varsity soccer at Uplift North Hills.
“Uplift North Hills Soccer is fun, and I get to enjoy it with my school friends, but I also wanted to compete at a higher level. I joined club soccer to learn new things and grow from the higher level of competition from every team I am on,” Shabout said.
Playing club soccer and competing across the world at the highest level, Shabout traveled to Germany, Argentina, Costa Rica, Austria, Italy and many more. Despite the demands of games, travel and practice, Shabout kept his focus in the classroom and was a proud member of The National Honor Society. Excellence in the classroom and outside of the classroom made Shabout an attractive recruit for college soccer coaches. After receiving multiple scholarship opportunities, he decided to play NCAA Division 1 Soccer at The University of North Carolina Ashville.
“As a freshman I hardly received any scholarship offers, but in my second year I received a scholarship offer from Coach Mathes Mennell at UNC Ashville and made the decision to be a UNC Asheville Bulldog. Uplift North Hills has worked with me and helped me thrive as a true scholar-athlete. I was able to excel in academics and athletics and now I can continue to play soccer in college,” said Shabout.
Shabout’s current five-year plan takes him away from the United States and Shabout will take the lessons he learned as an Uplift North Hills scholar-athlete to work hard every day.
“Maybe after college I will go and play in Germany but until then I will give it my best and see where it goes. That is the best thing I can do for myself,” Shabout concluded.