Atif M Moon Named One of the
2009 Ten Outstanding Young Americans
TULSA, OKLAHOMA – The United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) is pleased to announce that Atif M. Moon has been named as one of the 2009 Ten Outstanding Young Americans. The presentation of the 71st annual black-tie awards ceremony will be held September 26, 2009, in the Orlando, Florida Ramada Inn Orlando Celebration Resort & Convention Center.
Many notables have been honored as Outstanding Young Americans in the past including Presidents John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Bill Clinton, and Vice Presidents Al Gore, Dan Quayle, and Richard Cheney. Also honored were Howard Hughes, Orson Wells, Elvis Presley, Nelson Rockefeller, Ted Kennedy, dogsled champion Susan Butcher, and actors Christopher Reeve, and Shannon Reed.
Born with Neuroblastoma, a cancer of the spinal cord, Atif M. Moon, 24, was given no chance of survival. After three surgeries at the age of one month, he was left paralyzed from the waist down and became wheelchair bound. Moon had three more surgeries at ages 13, 15, and 16 to stabilize his spinal cord, but has not allowed his physical condition to restrict him from living a full life.
Moon currently works for Bertech Industries, an Electronic Distribution company, doing Online Marketing and will be pursuing a Masters degree in Sport Management in Spring 2010. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Business Economics in 2007, he went on to work for NBC at the Tonight Show as well as in Marketing and Product Development. While in school, he served as an intern for Fox Sports TV as well as the Los Angeles Kings. In the Fall of 2006, Moon had the wonderful opportunity to work on behalf of the President by being selected as a White House Intern.
Moon has been involved in sports from his early childhood, participating in a 5K-wheelchair race in 1990 at the age of 5 and then going on to actively participate in wheelchair tennis tournaments around the country. He won his first major tournament in 1998, and since then has been ranked among the top Junior Wheelchair Tennis players in the nation.
As a Co-Founder of the Center for Global Understanding (CFGU), a non-advocacy, non-religious organization to encourage the Muslim American youth to participate in civic engagement, Moon’s focus has been to provide scholarships for college-level students to intern in Washington, D.C., to understand and learn about America’s institutions of democracy. With the ultimate goal of providing a way to bring people together and help Muslim Americans get engaged in public policy, poverty, health, and education issues, Moon feels that Muslim Americans should play a significant role to make this world a better place.
Moon resides in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
The Ten Outstanding Young Americans program (TOYA) is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, The United States Jaycees has sought out the ten young men and women who best exemplify the finest attributes of America’s youthful achievers.
The TOYA selection process begins in the spring of each year. Following the submission deadline, all nominations are forwarded to a panel of screening judges who, working independently, select and rank their top twenty choices. The top twenty point getters become the finalists. The finalists’ nominations are forwarded to a panel of finalist judges who rank their top ten choices. The task of judging the nominations is arduous.
Each nominee’s accomplishments and contributions are also judged in relation to the Jaycee Creed: “…That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality, and that service to humanity is the best work of life” and they must meet certain qualifications: age (18-40, inclusive), American citizenship (or application therefore), and agree to attend the TOYA Awards Ceremony.