Dude, Mazdak!!

Soccer, martial arts, playing drums, helping out others; Mazdak Mina keeps a busy schedule. Many people know Mazdak from one of these activities or just from school, but few people, if any, know the complete Mazdak. “At the beginning of the interview you said you didn’t really know me. The fact is, I don’t think anyone at the school really does know me. I don’t think even my friends really know me,” Mazdak said. “I am different here than I am outside of school. Some people know I play drums, some know I do martial arts, and some know I play soccer, but few people know I do all three.” Mazdak is very active in all three of the previously stated activities. “I play soccer. I am on the JV team at Ames High,” Mazdak said. “I am also a second-degree black belt and play drums in the School of Rock.” The School of Rock is a program in which bands are formed and the bands must learn music to play in a short period of time. At the end of the period, the bands play in a concert. Not only does Mazdak work to make himself more well-rounded with music and athletics, but he also does his part to help others. For the last few years Mazdak has helped coach a sixth grade basketball team. “I was not able to go out for basketball my freshman year because my grades were kind of dropping, so I decided to try and help with coaching,” Mazdak said. “It is much less time consuming and it’s a lot of fun.” Mazdak also has a unique heritage with both his parents being from Iran. He can speak some Farsi and he is currently learning Spanish, so Mazdak may end up being tri-lingual. “My parents were born in Iran, and most Americans pronounce ‘Iran’ wrong, by the way,” Mazdak said. “My parents moved here when they were 17 and met in graduate school. I don’t look at my nationality very much, though. As far as I am concerned, I was born in Ames and I have never even been to Iran.” Mazdak is a kind and well-rounded teenager. He is a successful student enrolled in multiple AP courses. Mazdak understands that kindness is the best way to be successful in life, and hopes that people will get to know him for who he is. “A lot of people know that I am obnoxious, and it does bother everyone at one point or another,” Mazdak said. “I know I’m obnoxious, and I guess I don’t do much to stop it. I try to make myself more likeable, but at the same time I am just trying to be myself. I am not afraid of expressing myself. Hopefully people will seek a little further into who I really am.”