Inaara Sarfani (Class of 2016): Valuing personal development | Aga Khan Academies

Inaara Sarfani (Class of 2016): Valuing personal development

The time I spent at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad helped me become the person I am today. The Academy served as a platform for me to develop my self-expression, confidence, balance, service and reflective ability. The Academy provided a prestigious curriculum through the International Baccalaureate (IB) which exposed me to a unique style of education that equally emphasised academics and extracurriculars. Through teamwork, both in classes and service projects, I built collaboration as well as communication skills. To be honest, there is nothing that has not helped me adapt to university life from the time I spent at the Academy and I identify the most with the ability to reflect.

Prior to joining the Academy, I was an introvert who kept to herself and preferred the company of people I knew. Studying at the Academy was first step out of my comfort zone, as I had to make new friends with the people I would share my classes with for the upcoming four years before graduation and university. For a person as shy as I was, it sounded terrifying but I was willing to take risks to receive quality education and learn skills that would help me in the future. Apart from the rigorous academics that kept students on their toes, the service projects and athletic events fostered a close relationship between students. I was a part of the service project that went to a government school for girls (Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya) and undertook the responsibility to improve their conversation skills in English along with imparting news of global events among them. Working with classmates, devising plans, organising meetings and keeping track of the students’ progress were some of the tasks that helped me understand my classmates further as we worked together to create positive changes in people’s lives. In this endeavour, tracking the progress of these students foreshadowed the importance evaluation and reflection would have in my life.

There was also a part of me that wanted to achieve something valuable; to me, this meant two things: true recognition and establishing relationships I would continue in the future. I was fortunate to achieve both of these by being a part of the Academy. I received recognition for my hard work and the faith my teachers, my career advisor and my parents put in me was rewarded when I received the Ontario Tuition Waiver. I have developed a close communication network with people I met at the Academy.

I integrated the qualities I learnt at the Academy into university life by participating in various extracurriculars. I have volunteered at the women’s centre who provide a supportive atmosphere to people regardless of their gender and currently a member of the Marketing Advisory Board and Residence Promotion Team for on-campus residences. Being a part of these teams required me to communicate effectively as well as form good relationships with my teammates; skills that I learnt at the Academy, proving useful.

I am currently planning to minor in human resource management and explore this field along with psychology. I plan to be open to experiences that will come along the way. Looking back on my time spent at the Academy, I cherish the small yet meaningful moments, such as going for service projects with friends and engaging history classes. I can see the introvert girl trying to fit in with a group of equally new students starting their first day at the Academy; I also see that same girl receiving the scholarship and realising the potential she always had. The transition to university would not have been easy if it were not for the time I spent at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad.

By Inaara Sarfani