Alisha Sonawalla: Giving Back to Society | Aga Khan Academies

Alisha Sonawalla: Giving Back to Society

“My aim was to get [the] best marks, join a [good] university and get a good job. But that will not be different from what millions of people in this world are doing. So whatever it is I want to do, it would be to get the best education and give back to the society. We are good human beings at the end of the day.”

When Alisha researched the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, the philosophy of the school appealed to her. She found other schools to be very academically inclined and marks and exam oriented. This was not what she was looking for, as to her education is more than marks. “It is when you learn, you observe, you make mistakes and have space to experiment. That is what I saw in the philosophy and in the vision of the Aga Khan Academy. That is what drove me to come to the Academy,” she says impressively.

Alisha is a grade 11 residential student at the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad. Her parents live in Mumbai. Initially it was difficult for her to adjust to her new surroundings and especially to be away from her parents. But now with the support of her friends, she has settled in well. When she goes home, her parents tell her to concentrate on her studies and not to worry about home. Alisha goes home every month when she gets a vacation.

As much as she likes the sciences, Alisha also likes the humanities. After coming to the Academy, she took Philosophy. She found it interesting and is thinking of pursuing it further in the future.

For a CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) project, she is interested in Model United Nations. “Nothing can stop me from doing MUN,” she says confidently. She has started a MUN club at school and plans to establish a Model United Nations conference hosted by the Academy. Another programme she is part of involves helping the students of a government model school in the neighborhood. Through this programme, she envisages helping the students with English, playing with them, encouraging them to develop holistically and also helping those who are artistic by teaching them techniques learned at the Academy.

Alisha spends her weekends studying and doing CAS activities. She visited GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, which is a corporate initiative to help and serve society. She learned how to make chocolates there and plans to sell them. When asked if she gets time to go out and have fun, she says, “We have fun on campus. Friday night is the best night on the campus.” She also mentions teacher’s day and garba (dance) night as enjoyable events. “At the same time, we ensure we have fun and still manage our studies,” Alisha says responsibly.