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a profile picture of sarah
I often joke that HCC became my second home. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
The first in her family to navigate the American education system, recent graduate Sarah found a home at Howard Community College (HCC).

She moved to the United States from Pakistan at age nine, and excelled as a student in high school and again in college. She graduated May 25, 2017, as a proud member of HCC’s Rouse Scholars honors program, with a 4.0 grade point average, and was chosen as the Commencement ceremony’s student speaker.

Sarah said HCC’s faculty and staff helped her gain confidence in her abilities and taught her that with hard work, anything is possible.

“During my time at HCC, the faculty, staff, and students created the most supportive and engaging academic and social environment I have ever been in,” she said. “I often joke that HCC became my second home. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”

As a student, Sarah took advantage of many incredible opportunities and stepped out of her comfort zone, whether it was attending a panel on social justice issues, becoming a Student Senator, or participating in service learning. She says two experiences in particular defined her during her two years at HCC: a study abroad trip to Ireland, and being mentored by Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, a District 13 Democrat who has inspired Sarah since she was in junior high school.

Sarah was also a recipient of the Evelyn and J.P. Bolduc Scholarship, the Rouse Scholars Scholarship, the HCC Educational Foundation Director’s Endowment, and the District 13 Delegate Atterbeary/Frank Turner Scholarship.

“The scholarships I received meant the world to me,” she said. “I truly would not have been able to afford college were it not for these scholarships. As a first generation Pakistani-American woman, I realize that not all people in my position have the same opportunities as myself. These scholarships encourage me to work harder to empower not only myself, but other people in my position and allow them to have the same incredible opportunities as I have had in my life.”

 Sarah will transfer to the University of Maryland College Park, where she received a full tuition scholarship. She plans to study international relations with a concentration in the Middle East. She also hopes to study abroad, with a long-term career goal of working for the United Nations or a similar global organization.

“My background led me to develop a passion for traveling and learning about the astounding world that exists outside my own,” she said. “Education and learning is the key to helping us live a life where we do what we love; where we can pursue our passions and embrace the beauty of those passions. My time at HCC made me realize what it is I love and how I can get there.”

Sarah was recently featured in The Baltimore Sun. For more:

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