Student Spotlight - Pahel Lalani | Aga Khan Academies

Student Spotlight - Pahel Lalani

08 September 2020

How many years have you been in the Academy?

I have been at the Academy for 6 years and have been both a residential and non-residential student.  Every second I have spent at the Academy has been so insightful and memorable!

What is your favourite place at the Academy? 

The Academy is such a calming place!  My favourite place is the Art Block. I love performing arts and it is my passion so I love going there, and seeing theatre performances and so many colours around me.  This inspires me to be confident and to be the best version of myself. The Art Block is a place where I have built the strongest relationships with my juniors, seniors, and teachers.

What is your best memory at the Academy? 

My best memory, which still gives me goosebumps, is when His Highness the Aga Khan, visited the Academy in 2014.  I remember it was the 10th of April 2014, and that was my first year at the Academy. I have always looked up to His Highness.  I remember standing at the Academy Building, waiting to surprise him with a choir performance of a song called “ee deso ee mate”. While singing that song, and looking at him, I felt as if a ray of light inside me had been switched on. That light was a belief about myself that I can bring change and give back to our society. From that day to the present moment, that light is still lit inside me.

How do you think the Academy has shaped you (as a leader and a person)? 

I often tell people, that if I was not in the Academy, I would have been a completely different person. It has made me accept different people and different communities while giving me a chance to look at the world with different lenses, where everybody’s perspectives are accepted. It has given me the opportunity to express my own ideas and perspectives.  This has allowed me to be more confident and self-reliant. I have found the strength to bring about change within myself but also within the Academy. I want to use the skills and values I have found to have a positive impact in our community.

How do you feel about being elected as the Student Council president?

When I first stepped into the Academy, my role models were standing as School President and they were incredibly inspiring. Now, as I have been elected as the SRC president, I am very grateful, overwhelmed, and honoured to have this opportunity.

What are the first three things that you are going to do as President of the Student Council?

Having this opportunity gives me the privilege to bring about change and opportunities for all students.

First of all, I would like to create mentorship programmes for students, where they will be assigned an elder student, who will help to guide and support them.  I believe there are many things which we can learn from teachers and other mentors, but there are some things that can only be learned from experience. This will also allow for relationships to be built within our student body. Secondly I would like to introduce more opportunities for day students by having school based events which allow day students to participate and experience inclusivity in our Academy. Thirdly, I would like to see more inter-house activities.  At the moment, they are mainly focused on sports-based competitions.  I want to bring in inter-house competitions for arts, debates and literature. This will enable students with unique interests to flourish.

What is your vision for the academy? 

My vision for the Academy is see us become a truly inclusive community, where we accept each other despite our differences. I want to see opportunities for students to grow, to be inspired, and to become fearless leaders.