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Student Spotlight – Roya S.

Name: Roya S.
Hometown: Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Areas of Global Interest: Global Education

Favorite Five
Class at School: Biology!
Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
Food: Boba drink!
Color: yellow
Quote: It’s only impossible until it’s done.

You have been a member of your school’s Track and Field team for quite awhile. How did you become involved in track?
I believe in small miracles, and the importance of the little things. I have been doing track and field for quite some time now but before I had never ran for more than 5 minutes straight.
For all of my life, I had never been good at running, I dreaded it, the feeling of weakness it brought to me. However, at the same time, I wanted so badly to be able to run without getting out of breath, feeling weak, or simply feeling as if I can’t do it. So I decided I’d join the track team. Thankfully, the team let anyone in and since that day I’d decided I wanted to start running, I haven’t stopped. I’m not as good as the other runners, but I’m there and working as hard as I can. One of the biggest achievements has to be my first 800 meter run. I was sweating prior the meet, very nervous, and my heart was racing faster than I could run. I thought I was going to stop mid-way through. But, then came the last lap and I put all my energy into it. I knew I was so close to being done and I felt so strong even in my weakest moment. I finished. It wasn’t the best time, but I did it. And I was so proud.

We heard that you were involved in recycling efforts in your school. Can you tell us more about that?
It’s not a big achievement, but it’s something that has changed the game, and I believe any achievement is impactful no matter the size. My school had made a decision to go “paperless” and thought that providing chromebooks to all students would do the job. We are a small school and it didn’t seem to matter much to people how much paper we were actually using. However, it became clear that we were starting to use much more paper than before. It pained me to see so many papers and bottles that could be used, thrown out. No one was doing a single thing. So, with lots of planning and motivating, I reached out to the administration and managed to encourage the school to start recycling. Soon, the whole school will have it. I plan to inform the students about the importance of it and what can’t/can be recycled.

After each school day, where might we find you?
You can find me at the track field or trying something new. After that, it’s to my humble home and room where I do my work for the next day. Recently, if I’m not at the track, or pulling all-nighters doing homework, I am taking pictures. I have always wanted to get into photography, and it’s something that isn’t pushed for so much, but the power it gives you is indescribable. I’m still getting used to my camera but with practice, hopefully, I can take some Instagram-worthy pictures!

You shared that you are from Afghanistanistan and you will be the first in your family to attend college. As a first generation student, you bring a unique perspective and your experience can serve as an inspiration to current and incoming first-gen students. What do you plan to study and what does being first-gen mean to you?
As a first generation student going to college and growing up as an immigrant, my goal is to be able to attend medical school. As cliche as medical school sounds, I have always had this goal, despite it being my parent’s goal as well, to do something no one in my family has done before, and that is to become a doctor. Not only does it bring me joy to the thought of being able to save someone’s life, but to be the first female doctor in my family, to give back to my parents as well as make myself proud. For all of the other first-gen students, have a goal that makes YOU want to work for it, and something that no one would ever expect you to do, prove them wrong. We are the leaders of tomorrow, the future is in our hands. Only you can decide how you use that power. Chose wisely.

What have you learned, or are learning, that has prompted you to make a meaningful change in your life?
Patience. I have learned that there are things you cannot force. What do I mean by that? For years I have been waiting for the moment I am old enough to do certain things, I was forcing my youth away, and wanted to do everything all at once. I realized however, I can’t. I can’t do everything at once, and I can’t force to grow up faster. So I started changing how I approached things, realizing I had to do one thing at a time, do it right, and wait for life to roll out itself.

What is one goal you would like to achieve in the next five years?
Recently, I have gotten into youth leadership and the power that we hold. I hope in the future, I will be able to start a business that contributes good to either the environment, activism and bring change, or for the future generations. Also, if it’s within my ability, to create an app!

About Knovva Academy:

Knovva’s signature offerings connect top students from around the world with visionary educators, experts, and innovators to gain the skills critical to 21st century leadership. From world class online courses to five-day intensive simulations to two-week immersion programs, Knovva students break down cultural barriers so they can rebuild a world without them.

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