What excites you most about attending Lafayette?
I’ll begin with pure honesty. Never in a million years did I think I would attend a college minutes away from my home—it never crossed my mind. However, as the application process came by senior year, I said, ‘Why not apply to Lafayette?’ I’m so glad I did; it was one of the best decisions I made. My love began when I met a few students at the Muslim Student Association event, prior to commitment. I met such amazing students who truly guided me and made me feel welcome. If it wasn’t for the amazing staff, students, and overall vibrant culture I would have never decided to come here. From my initial steps I felt welcomed and a sense of belonging. My love for Lafayette didn’t completely develop till this summer during the SPAL program. In this program I met people from all different parts of the world whom I had an amazing time with. I am excited about the limitless opportunities Lafayette has to offer. I am excited to finally begin putting my dreams into reality by learning content to help me excel into the person I aspire to be. From research, the talented professors, the unlimited resources, to the vast alumni network, I can’t wait to see what I’ll be able to accomplish. The overall Lafayette community is one that will not only foster my academic studies, but it’s where I can truly feel myself, a proud female Muslim Pakistani American.
What was your impression of Lafayette when you first visited?
Even though I lived in Easton for most of my life I never actually visited Lafayette’s campus. It wasn’t until I got accepted where I fell in love with Lafayette. Words can’t explain the feeling it brought about within me. Seeing the students out on the Quad socializing and absorbing the sun, classes being held outside of Pardee, and students studying in Skillman made me excited to be a part of the Lafayette community. Each step I took on campus I was greeted with smiles. I remember when I first visited I met a student painting a picture of the Al-Aqsa mosque. I was so fascinated, so I decided to go up to her. I introduced myself, and we began discussing her artwork. We talked about the different halal food spots, the mosque, and the overall Muslim community. We talked for hours, and before I knew it I was invited to have iftar with the Muslim Student Association at Lafayette. Ever since that day, I knew that this was the school for me, a place where I can be my true self.
Before visiting, had you ever been on Lafayette’s campus?
No, I only drove past College Hill and that was about it.
What were you involved in at Easton High School, and how are you looking to get involved at Lafayette?
At Easton Area High School, I was involved in many clubs and extracurriculars. During my sophomore year, I founded the Muslim Student Association, which sought to create a facilitative environment for Muslim and non-Muslim students to meet and exchange ideas, debunk misconceptions, and work together to undo Islamaphobic harm. It was a platform where our voices could finally be heard. We ran successful awareness campaigns, interfaith discussions, a Ramadan newsletter for the entire district, and held fundraisers. My goal of starting this club was to engender an environment where people could be themselves regardless of their race, culture, or religion. Its success showed me that change is possible in even the smallest of towns like Easton, Pennsylvania. I also co-founded the South Asian Student Association in the goal of spreading the vibrant and rich culture of the South Asian region. We held district-wide ‘Chai Chats’ in which we discussed various South Asian stereotypes, misconceptions, and overall culture. In addition to the MSA and SASA, I was the treasurer of the class of 2022, the treasurer of Key Club, and the treasurer of UNICEF.
Outside of the clubs, I was also involved in our high school’s Diversity Alliance, Equity Committee, and Voice Committee, in which I expressed the concern, injustices, and inequity that many students like myself faced. These clubs meant a lot to me—it was what allowed me to wholeheartedly embrace my own identity and faith. With this passion and fight for change, I want to continue this in college by being a part of the Muslim Student Association, International Student Association, South Asian Student Association, GirlUp, Women in Computing, Investment Club, and/or Student Government.
What is your major?
I plan on double majoring in computer science and economics.
What are you hoping to pursue after college?
I hope to get into the technology and business industries. I plan on being in the city to continue pursuing my passions. In terms of the specifics, I am not exactly sure, but I know that I definitely want to, and will start, my own company one day. In addition to all of that, I want to continue doing philanthropic work around the world. I want to continue giving back to the poverty-stricken countries around the world, especially my home country of Pakistan. When I was in high school, I helped create 15 water wells for the impoverished villages in Pakistan. My dream is that I continue this work but on a larger scale.
What other schools were you considering?
Northeastern, NYU, Schreyer Honors College at Penn State, Lehigh University, and Drexel University
Watch Lafayette College President Nicole Farmer Hurd surprise Imaan at Easton Area High School last spring.