AKA Students Go On to Great Things | Aga Khan Academies

AKA Students Go On to Great Things

“The ongoing objective in all of this work is to provide an outstanding education for outstanding students – to prepare men and women of exceptional ability to meet extraordinary challenges.”
– His Highness the Aga Khan at the inauguration ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad in September 2013As of now, 22 members of this year’s graduating class from Mombasa have received scholarships worth a total of 2.6 million US dollars, while in Hyderabad, the first graduating class is in the midst of fielding offers from top-ranked universities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom and has already received offers totalling 1.5 million US dollars. Institutions such as McGill University, the University of British Columbia, Dartmouth College, NYU, Columbia University and the Universities of Warwick and Norwich are amongst those offering scholarships. Partnering with the Academies, the University of Alberta also provides a $40,000 Global Citizenship Scholarship for students from the Mombasa campus, while the University of Victoria has a dedicated scholarship for Aga Khan Academy students.

This year’s record builds on the success of previous graduating classes. Last year, Mombasa's graduating class received over $500,000 in scholarship funding. While many scholarships require academic excellence, scholarships like the International Leaders of Tomorrow Award (ILOT), won by Academy students 10 times previously, recognises students demonstrating involvement in student affairs, leadership skills and community service, in addition to superior academic achievement. Such scholarships speak to the Academies’ success in developing students who are not just academically sound, but also well-rounded individuals.

Behind the accomplishment of every student is a dedicated team of teachers and counsellors. In helping students with their admissions applications, the university counselling department provides students with career guidance, test preparation for the SAT and ACT, one-on-one university guidance, as well as feedback on personal statements. Strong student performance coupled with a devoted university counselling department has allowed for acceptances to leading undergraduate programmes across a wide range of disciplines including social science, finance, engineering, medicine and the humanities.

Taher Ezzi, a 2008 graduate of the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, credits the staff and faculty with the support he received: “I realised that I could count myself lucky to have spent my high school years at the [Academy] in Mombasa since the facilities, the faculty support and resources we had at our disposal were right up there with the top schools of the world.” Taher will be commencing his MBA at Harvard this fall, after completing a Mechanical Engineering degree and Master's in Management Science from Stanford University.

While academic success and scholarships are worthy accomplishments in themselves, it is perhaps the aspirations of the students that will provide a purpose to the education they have received. As Farah Charania, an Academy alumnus and student at McGill University states, “I will return home and serve my community as a way to give back and contribute to the well-being of the people. My biggest achievement will lie in touching people’s lives back home and ensuring that they live healthy and happy lives.”

By Farhan Karim

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