Anzhela Mirzoeva: Taking Academy lessons learnt to college | Aga Khan Academies

Anzhela Mirzoeva: Taking Academy lessons learnt to college

Anzhela Mirzoeva clearly remembers the day when she learnt she had been accepted at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa. She was in class at school in Tajikistan. A staff member gave her a letter and told her to open it only in the presence of her parents. 

“It was very cold outside,” she recalls. “I went straight to my mother’s workplace and handed her the letter. We were both too scared to open it. Finally, it was my uncle who opened it and told me I had been accepted at the Academy.” 

“It was very exciting and scary,” she recollects. “I was not ready to leave my family and friends and go far away to Kenya.” 

However, after spending six years at the Academy, Anzhela admits she has come a long way in terms of personal growth and professional development. 

“I have been part of the Academy since 2013. Within these years I have been part of different activities and teams at the school. Each undertaking taught me something special,” she states appreciatively. 

Now having graduated from the Academy, Anzhela is forging ahead to start a new phase in her life in the United States at the Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. She will major in international relations and human development and has received a full scholarship from the College. She was also admitted to other colleges, including the University of Central Asia and a number of universities in Canada. The University of Central Asia also offered her a full scholarship. Expressing gratitude to the Academy counsellors, she says, “With assurance, I can claim that without my counsellors, I wouldn’t have been so successful in getting admission to all these universities. The counsellors in the Academy were very dedicated and organized in their work. They made the college application a very smooth process with their information presentations and untiring availability.” 

Anzhela feels that her route to success has been due to the Academy’s International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. This, she feels, has given her a step ahead in critical thinking skills. 

“The IB engages you in constructive learning,” she says with admiration. “It fills your mind with thinking skills that you will need all your life. The IB learner profile is also a guideline that teaches students what their expectations are.” 

Anzhela says the Academy instilled in her many values such as pluralism, empathy, and leadership training. The public service requirement, she says, touched her to the core. After her education, she hopes to return to Tajikistan. 

As she heads away from the Academy, Anzhela says she will always cherish her years at the school. 

“I will miss the sense of belonging at the Academy, the Saturday night activities, the IB jokes, the late nights trying to finish assignments," Anzhela said. "What makes me miss all these moments are the people; my teachers, my classmates, my friends, the simple stuff. At the end of the day, I see the Academy as my home. It is where I spent all my teen years. I am truly grateful to be a graduate of the Academy. It taught me who I really am and what I really want from life.”