Women of Color Achieve Ivy League Success

Women of Color Achieve Ivy League Success

Two senior students defy race and gender expectations by getting into the nation’s top schools
meszi Ahmed
Mezi Ahmed

Mezihab Ahmed, also known to many students as Mezi, was accepted into UPenn, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth and Stanford. 

The goal for Ahmed has always been to make it to one of the ivies, but being accepted into five passes her goal exceedingly.

“It’s always been such a dream to go to one of these schools because of the opportunities they have,” Ahmed said. 

Getting into an Ivy has always been a dream of Ahmed and the work she’s chosen to put in throughout her high school career is what made her a candidate for these prestigious schools.

While having a 4.0 GPA, Ahmed has also committed to taking on leadership roles in many clubs.

“I guess I just kind of did the things I really liked and I really committed to all of them and it just started building up over the years,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed admits that she feels like a big part of getting accepted was due to the extracurriculars she chose to partake in. 

Ahmed chose to go to a competitive K-8 school, Challenge School, for the “motivated students and gifted,” according to Cherry Creek Schools. This school has helped her go into the more competitive nature of academics.

“I feel like Challenge kind of prepared me for being ready to be in a competitive environment, but also how even if I do something that’s good enough in my standards, doesn’t mean it’s going to be good enough in others,” Ahmed said.

This type of mindset is what Ahmed felt helped her get through high school and continue to push herself.

“Something about it is I feel like I’ve just worked so much harder at Challenge than I’ve ever done at Smoky,” she added.

While Ahmed believes having a competitive mindset, extremely high GPA and a resume have helped her get into these schools, she also had another reason– being a first generation of immigrant parents has also motivated her to do as well as she’s done.

“[My parents have] just given so much to me after coming to this country and not following their dreams because they wanted to support me,” Ahmed said, “So yeah, it did mean a lot to them and to me,” Ahmed said.

Throughout her education, Ahmed has felt that she hasn’t been able to have the advantage of a “leg up” that many other kids have.

Ahmed said, “A lot of people who have families know the system of practically everything here, but I guess just with immigrant parents it feels like I have had that leg up that so many other kids already have.” 

Ahmed has felt that not being able to have that “leg up” has made it harder to get to where she is today. But how she has chosen to work has paid off extremely well.

“It feels like this kind of makes up for it in a way, all the hard work I’ve chosen to do paid off,” Ahmed said.

While Ahmed has accomplished getting into schools, the journey along the way has pushed her to be the way she is.

“I’m going to be honest I first had to force myself to get involved in things and I think in the long run it really paid off,” Ahmed said.

While Ahmed is almost at the end of her high school career, she expressed how although she worked to achieve her goals and has had some struggles handling stress, she’s also had help along the way.

“Teachers are willing to work with you and help you along the way,” Ahmed said, “I mean they’re always willing to let me come in on my off to make up stuff because they understand.”

Ahmed’s journey from freshman to senior year as an Ivy League-bound student has proved itself to be a future circumstance for her.

meszi Ahmed (meszi )

50% of the most prestigious schools, also known as the Ivy Leagues, are made of caucasian students according to College Vine.
Throughout the years, Ivy League universities have been predominantly white schools founded by white men, with the widely accepted demographic being white men. But this pattern of only white men going to the prestigious ivies is coming to a change.

Abigail Adane
Abigail Adane

 Senior Abigail Adane has gotten into Cornell University and Georgetown University and is currently choosing between the two schools.

“It was one of my goals to get into a top school so it feels like my hard work really paid off for sure,” Adane said.

Adane has worked extremely hard also taking leadership roles in many of her clubs.

Adane said, “I really do enjoy the clubs I’m in and I originally joined them because I do really like them but also partially to boost my college applications.”

While Adane has focused an extreme amount, she expresses how it was a struggle to maintain a balance between social life and school.

“I feel like sacrificing your social life for school is sad, but there were definitely a lot of times that I had to do that,” Adane added.

Adane feels that although sacrificing her social life was a struggle, the achievements that came from it were so much bigger.

Coming from a low-income family of refugees and being able to make the accomplishments that she has, has shown something for her but also her family.

“I’ve seen how much someone can struggle when they don’t have an education and more than anything they’ve demonstrated that an education is one of the most valuable things you can get in America.”

— Abigial Adane

“It really demonstrates my ability to be hard working and how much effort I put into my academic life and everything that I do in school,” Adane said.

Adane expressed how showing how far she can accomplish is a big deal for her but also is something she feels she needs from her parents.

“For awhile, I felt like I needed validation to feel worthy as a person,” Adane said.

Just like many high school students, Adane’s mental health has been a journey she continues to work on.

Adane said, “I’m not going to lie, there were many sleepless nights where I got two, three, max five hours of sleep a night due to all the work I had and all the clubs I was in.”

Adane explains how at some point she has experienced many burnouts throughout her high school career.

“It is inevitable everyone’s going to have at least a couple [of] burnouts throughout high school, but I’ve learned to handle it a lot better now.

Throughout her mental health journey, Adane expresses the different tools she’s learned to be able to balance everything out.

“I think I’ve progressed to a point now where I have really good time management skills but also a big thing I do now is practice meditation to kind of like keep myself in check,” Adane said.

Adane’s has had many ups and downs mentally throughout her school career, but she explains how she feels wouldn’t have changed it.

“I think personally, I don’t regret all the sleepless nights and all the difficulties and mental breakdowns I’ve had because they bring me to this point,” Adane said.

Both Adane and Ahmed have chosen to work extremely hard to reach their goals while being able to balance the emotional rollercoaster that goes along with being in high school. Coming from immigrant families and being women of color and reaching the stride of excellence they have, they strive to make an impact on the community.

Abigail Adane (Abigail )
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