Raeesa Rane (Class of 2014): A Scholar With a Passion | Aga Khan Academies

Raeesa Rane (Class of 2014): A Scholar With a Passion

“I think the Academy has really prepared me for what I have to take on in the future. I have a storehouse of experiences and lessons that I can really tap into… My time at the Academy has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience that I will carry with myself through college and life.” These experiences will serve Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad graduate Raeesa Rane well when she heads to New York City later this year. Awarded a 40,000 USD scholarship to New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business, Raeesa will major in business while pursuing her interests in media this coming September.

Demonstrating a visible passion for the arts and media, Raeesa served as chief editor of the AKA, Hyderabad student newsletter, an experience she recalls fondly. “It was an initiative by the students and it really reflected who we were. [It covered] every aspect of Academy life, whether it was the food, whether it was the walkways, whether it was the new dorms, all the little things, the little joys that the students shared. It brought a smile to every single one of our faces.”

This sense of cohesion and solidarity amongst the graduating class can in large part be attributed to the healthy student environment fostered by the Academy faculty. Highlighting this cooperative spirit, Raeesa explains, “There have been several times where we have sat down as a group, even as large as our class of 30 people, spoken to each other and resolved our conflicts without any supervision.” This ability to reflect on one’s own actions and adopt a proactive approach was also cultivated in the students through the IB curriculum. “The IB program really encourages reflection. If you have a CAS [creative, action, service] activity, it would require a reflective element. We would ask ourselves: ‘What were my strengths? What were my weaknesses? What were my areas of growth, and what could I have done differently?’”

When asked to reflect on what aspect of the move to New York most excites her, Raeesa is quick to note that, “There is so much to do. Whatever your hope or dream, there is an outlet for it. It will nurture every side of my personality.” Although there is much to be excited about, Raeesa notes that it will be her first time living and studying in North America. The most important part however is “to really take advantage [of the opportunity]. We need to be able to dismantle our stereotypes from wherever they come, and to take in all of what the university and other students have to offer.”

As she looks to the future, Raeesa hopes she will be able stay on and continue to study in the Unites States. Returning home, however, is not out of the question. “The option of going back [to India] for work will always be open, definitely for service, especially if there was an opportunity to go back and contribute to society.” For Raeesa, like for many other Academy graduates, there exists a strong desire to contribute to the development of society. “That value, to be socially aware, to be aware both of your ethical responsibilities to yourself, and to society, I think that is very strongly instilled in us.” It is a value which societies around the world desperately need, and it is a value that in the generations ahead, the Academies will continue to nurture.


By Farhan Karim