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Board Member Spotlights

Yassin Terou

Yassin TerouMr. Yassin Terou arrived in Knoxville as a refugee from Damascus, Syria, and by the time he became a US citizen a decade later in 2020, his kindness, enthuasiasm, hard work, and generosity had earned him more awards and recognitions than most of us see in a lifetime.  In 2014, Yassin opened Yassin’s Falafel House in downtown Knoxville and dedicated the space to be welcoming to people of “all sizes, all colors, all ages, all sexes, all cultures, all religions, all types, all beliefs.”  He works tirelessly to help the Knoxville community, included many without permanent homes who suffer from hunger.  In 2018, Yassin’s Falafel House was recognized by Reader’s Digest and ABC’s Good Morning America as the “Nicest Place in America.”  The same year his shop was also chosen as the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Best Middle Eastern Food, he opened a second shop, he received the 2018 Peace Award from Knoxville’s Rotary Club, and he was named the 2018 News Sentinel Person of the Year.  Since then he has won the Pinnacle Award from the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, was named Knoxvillian of the Year in 2019, presided over the inauguration of Knoxville’s new mayor, and won more awards then there is room here to list.  He has also, though, through it all, maintained his generous spirit and tireless work ethic.  He has fed children in need in Knoxville; fed hurricane victims with a pop-up kitchen in Nashville, and used his fame to help countless others in Knoxville and beyond.  We appreciate all that he has done and continues to do to strengthen our community and bring people together and we look forward to bringing his unique voice and boundless energy to our students

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