12 years didn't feel so long did they? | Aga Khan Academies

12 years didn't feel so long did they?

11 May 2023


A 6-year-old Aashna Lakhani walked into the gates of the Academy with curious eyes scanning everything new around her and wondering what her new life at the Academy would be like. That was 12 years ago for little Aashna. Today, as she is about to graduate, she is well-prepared to walk out of the same gates as a confident, well-rounded and ambitious leader. Though she faintly remembers her first image of the Junior School classrooms, she vividly recalls how excited her family was to have her enrolled in the Academy, given their strong belief in its mission and vision.

Over the years, she has witnessed significant changes in the Academy - the once ongoing construction site has transformed into a beautiful and lush 100-acre campus, with the number of students increasing every year. Aashna notes that the Academy has grown to become more student-oriented, providing immense opportunities to learn and lead and as a result encouraging the overall growth of the students.

Aashna reflects on how she walked in as a blank slate and was moulded into a much stronger and more versatile woman. From being scared of stepping into the swimming pool to participating in numerous inter-school swimming meets, from attending MUN conferences to becoming a science geek, Aashna's journey has been nothing less than transformative. She shares, “The Academy has shaped me into someone I'm proud of, not just as a student but as an individual. I learned how it is important to be true to oneself in all circumstances and the rest will fall in place".

The Exchange Programme which allowed her to go to the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa, is a memorable experience she will always hold dear. During her stay in Mombasa, she was able to break out of her pod and make new friends that will last a lifetime. There she met some of the most interesting people and created indelible memories. Her trip to Mombasa made her a more confident person who now cherishes the simple joys of sitting on the stairs of the Academy Building and indulging in casual or meaningful conversations with her friends.

Aashna knows and believes that as a student of the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad, she is part of a bigger and larger community of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Having her roots in science strengthened, she aspires to pursue research in Medicine and contribute to the works of the World Health Organisation.

As she prepares to graduate, she admits it is bittersweet. While she is excited to embark on a new journey, she wonders what it will be like stepping out into the world beyond the Academy, where twelve years past by so quickly.

Interviewed by Alaina Hirani, Diploma Programme One