Dana Izadpanah

"Fundamentals for My Future Life”: Quick Study Dana Izadpanah Pushes Himself
Posted on 05/21/2021
D. Izadpanah
As he spent his first 11 months as a John Overton High School student at home, Dana Izadpanah was itching to go to school in person.

But that didn’t stop him from immediately cranking up his academic career. student D. Izadpanah

Dana and his parents moved to Nashville from Kurdistan in the fall of 2019, grateful for what he described as “a miracle” that allowed them to relocate. He didn’t start school until April 2020, a month after the COVID-19 pandemic forced school buildings to close for what turned out to be nearly a year for high schools.

Although he was still learning English – which he now speaks easily – Dana asked and ultimately convinced Overton school counselor Elizabeth McClurg to place him in Cambridge International Examinations, an advanced academic program.

“The classes were rigorous, but he did not shy away from the challenge,” McClurg wrote in a recommendation letter. “Dana took on the hard work and persevered through the toughest of obstacles. He continues to seize enriching opportunities and maintains a strong academic record. I have tremendous respect for this young man.”

As Dana himself put it, “If I don’t push myself forward to the hardest classes, I won’t make it in college. It’s been really tough, but I’ve really enjoyed the classes. Those will be the fundamentals for my future life.”

Dana, who also joined the Overton tennis team and routinely works 30 to 40 hours a week at Kroger as a grocery bagger, cashier, and in other roles as needed, plans to attend Lipscomb University or Trevecca Nazarene University after graduating from Overton on Sunday. He enjoys computer programming and coding and hopes to work in that field.

“I have a strong faith of being a programmer,” he said. “I want to choose something that’s part of the future, not something that will be taken over by robots.”

Dana said much of the credit for the success he has had at Overton goes to the teachers and staff there. Without them, “I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” he said.

And he plans to keep learning and pushing himself.

“I love to meet smart people and work on challenging projects,” Dana said. “Whenever a person thinks he or she doesn't have to learn anymore, it’s the end for him or her.”
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