My devotion to public service, cross-cultural understanding, and automatic affinity to the world offers me a unique perspective to lead the student association at Harvard Extension School. As your President, my top priority will be making sure that each student enrolled in classes, regardless if they are admitted or not, is provided with the necessary resources to succeed in their studies and pursue their professional calling.
My global perspective means I see the world through a broader lens, based on my good fortune to have been brought up in an international environment. In many ways, growing up Afghan and Muslim in a white American world, I encountered challenging struggles, exacerbated by the fact that English was my third language and the fact that I stuttered as a child. I could not complete sentences without mumbling; my thoughts often came across as irrelevant or silly and were easily dismissed. Not being able to be heard frustrated me and intensified my stuttering. Communicating effectively and poignantly now—whether speaking to an individual or group—and having my thoughts understood—is a personal victory.
My humble background provides me with an asset that can be instructive to others. I ‘m incredibly approachable and friendly; a person who connects easily with people, gaining their trust and confidence. Building strong relationships and inspiring people is what I do best.
As an undergraduate at University of California, Irvine I was part of the Dean’s Ambassadors Council, where I coordinated academic and cultural events that enriched the lives of students. I also served at Global Connect, an outreach program that provided economically disadvantaged students with education and training about worldwide issues. By teaching Global Connect students how to think analytically-reflectively about global issues, I made a difference in their lives and they were more likely than their peers to go on to higher education.
My commitment to bringing change in this word has much to do with my past. Having the unearned privilege to immigrate to America, I still carry a strong sense of survivor’s guilt. I cannot forget that the people of my homeland who continue to suffer through disease, hunger, opium addiction, refugee camps, terrorism, war, and grinding poverty.
My mission is to show the Harvard community how people from Afghanistan can also become productive members of global society. As your President, my mission will be to accomplish the following:
*Engage students in stimulating events that promote the cultural and intellectual diversity of our School.
*Guide students with existing resources and start new ones. For instance, host career fairs and start a job placement center so that graduates can launch their careers.
*Reinvigorate the mission of academia by promoting community outreach that can lead to internships and rewarding careers.
*Revise the School’s name by lobbying to drop “Extension” and replacing the word with a better one.
By entrusting Scott Spencer (my VP running mate) and I with your vote, we will build a vibrant community, foster class camaraderie, and renew the academic promise. Thank you for your support.