Favorite subject in school: English & Math
Favorite place in Ypsilanti: In front of my oven when cookies are baking or the library!
Favorite lunch at school: A bowl of fruit, yogurt, a granola bar, a Samosa, or a Pakistani spiced potato-stuffed fritter
Favorite artist: Amanda Saab, a Muslim-American baker who appeared on MasterChef
It is hard not to be impressed with Hajirah Nadeem. Captain of the robotics team, co-founder of the Central Academy STEM club, Editor-In-Cheif on the yearbook committee, and a Second-Degree Black Belt martial artist, Nadeem is a super-star.
Voted ‘Favorite Junior’ in this year’s 2021 4Frenzy Academic Contest, Nadeem explains that her academic curiosity stems from her admiration for her grandfather.
“He grew up in a remote village in Pakistan,” she said. “The lack of accessibility in education didn’t stop him from pursuing his career. He became the first person in his town to pursue a college education.”
Having been dual-enrolled since 9th grade, Nadeem will have completed 21 college credits by this April while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
“He [her grandfather] has always inspired me to value education and give back to our community,” she shares. “He is a firm believer in life-long learning, consistently adapting, and picking up new skills every day.”
Outside of academics, Nadeem is passionate about philanthropic work and creating positive change in her community.
“It began when I emailed my local Ypsilanti library about books and free resources,” she said. “When the librarian emailed back, she offered what help she could provide but explained that resources were limited as libraries are funded by property taxes from city residents.”
After learning about wealth disparities in Washtenaw County, she joined the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation’s Youth Council. This council of 25 young leaders review grants and distribute money to programs that serve disadvantaged youth.
Seeing her commitment to the cause, her fellow council members elected Nadeem to serve a 2-year term on the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund Committee to assist in the improvement of financial and educational opportunities for the city’s residents.
“As a student leader, innovator, supporter, inventor, and changemaker, I want to build my future on the notion of challenging myself to solve problems that affect populations in many different facets.”
In the future, Nadeem hopes to pursue robotics engineering, publish multiple middle-grade novels, start a baking business, become a Sa Bo Nim [Master Instructor] in martial arts, and pursue philanthropic work in her community.
Best of luck to Hajirah, you are undeniably talented and an inspiration to all!
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