by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Soul of Photography

Leading by Example

faces_tayebi2Natasha Tayebi is a teen with a mission – to lead by example and encourage others to do the same. A senior at The Bishop’s School, Natasha is involved in a program called Whatever It Takes (WIT), a college credit course that teaches high school students how to be leaders and entrepreneurs. “I first got involved with WIT in the beginning of my sophomore year. WIT is my favorite class because I love spending time with Ms. Hernholm (the WIT founder) and the other WIT students learning how we can improve our enterprises,” revealed Natasha. She is the founder of Silent Stories, an enterprise that provides art workshops to underserved populations. “This last year, we provided workshops to senior citizens at the Mary and Gary West Wellness Center in downtown San Diego. I came up with this idea because I have always felt that people have a hard time feeling that they are valued. The best way I could solve this issue was by providing art workshops that made people feel loved, valued, and heard,” explained Natasha. Silent Stories visits the Mary and Gary West Wellness Center two-to-three Saturdays per month for two hours each visit. The group provides supplies and project ideas, helping the seniors express themselves through art.


MEET NATASHA

Name: Natasha Nadia Tayebi (17)
School: The Bishop’s School
Grade: 12
Parents: Masood Tayebi and Surinder Tayebi
Siblings: Arya Tayebi (18) and Ardalan Tayebi (12)
Favorite Places in Rancho Santa Fe: Thyme on the Ranch, the golf course, Rancho Valencia, Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market


faces_tayebi3Through WIT and Silent Stories, Natasha feels she is helping others in a unique way and is learning valuable lessons about leadership and giving back to the community. “Knowing that I created something that has a direct impact on someone’s life and that these senior citizens want to come back to my workshops is the greatest feeling,” related Natasha. In addition to Silent Stories, Natasha is also an accomplished public speaker. She was the only teen speaker at the 2016 WorldLink Conference at USD and did a TEDx talk with another WIT student. According to Natasha, public speaking, especially in rooms full of adults, has increased her confidence tremendously.

Natasha is very family-focused and cites her father, uncle, brothers, and mother as inspirations to her. “Family is very important to me. My parents have raised us with the notion of family first. My older brother is definitely a role model to me, and my younger brother is always looking out for me and trying to make my day,” said Natasha with a smile. Looking to the future, Natasha plans to attend college and then graduate school to study business and entrepreneurship.