Celebrating the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad's 90 Exceptional Students from the Class of 2021 | Aga Khan Academies

Celebrating the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad's 90 Exceptional Students from the Class of 2021

24 May 2021

On Saturday, 22 May 2021, the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad celebrated the graduation of 90 students from its Class of 2021 in completing their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme studies. Having completed the rigorous academic programme at the Academy, these exceptional students concluded their journey with a virtual graduation ceremony attended by fellow students, faculty and staff, as well as parents, extended families and invited guests.

The graduation ceremony began with opening remarks from Head of Academy, Dr Jonathan Long, who spoke of the Class of 2021’s journey during these unprecedented times and how each graduate has shown a true passion for learning and becoming leaders of tomorrow.

“[The Class of 2021] are young people who have risen above their circumstances with courage, grit and with determination. They have shown us that our circumstances do not define us. The Class of 2021 is a class of hope because they go out into the world as ethical young leaders to make a difference, to bring that vision of hope wherever they find themselves.”

This year’s graduating class have collectively been offered over USD $6 million in scholarships and financial aid from some of the world's top universities, including Brown University, Purdue University, the University of British Columbia, Tufts University, the University of Georgetown in Qatar, and many more.

The guest speaker at the graduation ceremony was Mr Rishad Premji. Mr Premji is Chairman of Wipro Limited, one of India’s most prominent multinational companies. With an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University, Mr Premji has been recognised as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum for his outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments, and commitment to society. Mr Premji is also on the Board of the Azim Premji Foundation, one of the largest not-for-profit initiatives in India. The Foundation, which focuses on improving public school education, works with over 350,000 government schools across seven states in India.

Addressing the year that has just passed, Mr Premji paraphrased a significant quote from the novel The Lord of the Rings, saying, ‘’We cannot choose the times we live in. All we can do is to decide what we do with the times that have been given to us.” 

For some students, their experience at the Aga Khan Academies had, at one time, been an unattainable dream due to financial reasons. However, through the Academies’ Talent Identification Programme, students with high merit and leadership potential are provided with full financial aid to attend an Academy, despite their financial backgrounds. By enabling these talented students to receive a high-quality education that allows them access to the world’s best universities, this programme dramatically changes their opportunities and their long-term abilities to help their families and communities. 

Diana Nazari, Class of 2021 and from Kabul, Afghanistan, is one such student. She will be attending Brown University, a private and Ivy League university, in Providence, Rhode Island with a complete scholarship and credits the Academy, her teachers and peers for helping her get to where she is.

"A lot of people have been telling me that I deserve this acceptance into Brown University because I’ve worked really hard, but the truth is that there are a lot of people who have worked even harder in order to me to be here today,” Diana said. “My teachers, my family members, the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad and my classmates have all supported me so much. If I hadn’t come to the Academy in the first place, none of this would be possible at all and I am beyond grateful for being able to study here and begin this new chapter in my life.” 

On behalf of the Academies network, we wish the Graduating Class of 2021 the best of success in all their future endeavours. The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad’s Class of 2021 graduation is available to watch online at https://fb.watch/6355VP-gxd/