khadijah-85I completed my freshman year at Harvard! It was an incredible year, full of challenges, achievements, and lots of coffee! I survived Introductory Economics, Expository Writing, pre-punch, and numerous New England snowstorms (really tough for a California girl like me).

One of my favorite academic experiences deals with my freshman seminar- Communication, Advocacy, and Public Affairs. Our project has moved past the classroom level, like the other projects, and we plan to continue with it during our time here – convince Harvard to implement more public speaking classes and resources. This was also an eye-opening experience for me because as I am interested in policy and advocacy, I get to learn at what it is like to deal with large bureaucracies in real time. This is invaluable experience for me.

Another wonderful part of the past year has been the expanding of my sense of what is possible. There is no such thing as “impossible” at Harvard, and for someone who has lived for years in an environment where “can’t” was the norm, this is an amazing and stimulating environment to be a part of. It continues to be a challenge on so many levels – academically, socially, and emotionally. To be sure, this can be at times intimidating, but as I love challenges, this is the perfect environment to create the me I’ve always imagined but until now, wasn’t sure I could become. It is an awesome experience.

This summer, I am interning at an education technology company in NYC. I am an intern to the CEO, another challenging position, albeit not as challenging as mastering the NYC subway system!

In reflecting back on the last year, I am amazed at the support and encouragement I received from people like you. When times were tough, your belief in me was a tremendous source of encouragement. I am looking forward to my sophomore year and to pursuing a concentration in Social Studies, (Harvardspeaks for major).

I will be profiled in the August edition of Essence magazine. I hope that you will read it and that my gratitude for your support shines through in that article! Again, thank you so much for your continued support. I look forward to fulfilling your hopes for my future.