Editor’s note: This is the inaugural year for CultureMap’s Top Texans Under 30, a program that celebrates the twentysomething power players making a difference in their industries and communities across the Lone Star State — and, in some cases, the world. The full list is here. For now, read all about Mohamad Maarouf.
Passionate about social justice and education, 29-year-old Mohamad Maarouf defies the norm for what you might expect from a school administrator. As the principal of KIPP Houston High School, Maarouf loves hanging out with students at lunch, chatting with them in the halls, and he never misses a school sporting event. As a mentor, Maarouf is accessible and fosters a love of learning every day.
KIPP, which stands for Knowledge Is Power Program, was developed for underserved students who might otherwise have limited access to empowering academic programs. Maarouf’s calm demeanor and dedication is exactly the kind of adult influence that many of his students crave. He’s even been known to pick students up from school and tutor others on Saturdays.
We sat down with this tireless advocate to learn a bit more about him.
CultureMap: What inspires you to do what you do?
Mohamad Maarouf: I’m inspired by my students. Each and every day I come to school, it is through my students’ personal exploration and the quest for equity that I see our world becoming a better place. To me, there is no better reason to wake up every morning.
CM: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other Texans trying to make a difference?
MM: Do your homework!
CM: Sum up Texas in three words:
MM: Bigger and better.
CM: What’s one thing that people might not know about you?
MM: Although I am Palestinian and Lebanese, the majority of my family lives in The Gambia and Denmark.
CM: Finish this sentence: “It’s a good day when … ”
MM: You make it one.
RSVP now for the CultureMap Social: Top Texans Under 30 Edition, October 6 at Tootsies, to celebrate Maarouf and his fellow Houston winners.