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University of Missouri

Fearless Fares

Why Fares Akremi is no longer afraid to dream big.

Fares Akremi

Fares Akremi has always loved politics. As a 7-year-old, he was more interested in NPR journalist Robert Siegel’s dissection of the 2000 election returns than playing sports. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

Fares Akremi spent his freshman year proving to himself he belonged at the University of Missouri and his ACT score wasn’t a fluke. Homeschooled in Jamestown, Missouri, Akremi wasn’t sure he would succeed in college. “I was scared of my own shadow,” he says.

So he put his head down and worked hard. He became a Residential Life peer adviser and joined the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board. His sophomore year he told political science Professor Marvin Overby of his dream to go to law school. Overby told him to aim higher — so he did.

Selected from hundreds of applicants as one of 12 Rhodes Scholar finalists in the Midwest region, the senior political science and geography major has now set his sights on being the attorney general or a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Until then, Akremi wants to reform immigration laws and policies, a desire that stems from the experiences his father, Boujemaa Akremi, PhD ’85, faced when he immigrated to the U.S. from Tunisia.

This summer, Akremi will intern in Washington, D.C., with Sen. Claire McCaskill, BA ’76, JD ’77, an honor he earned as the inaugural recipient of the Betty Anne McCaskill (BA ’50) Scholarship. Then he will attend law school at the University of California, Berkeley.

Akremi is no longer afraid to dream big. “I think I’ve convinced myself that I belong here,” he says.