Mah joined the Eckerd Connects Workforce Development Program in Queens, NY in January of 2020, just one month after she and her family moved from Pakistan.
“I arrived as an anxious first-generation college student with no prior knowledge of how to navigate in college and no one to look towards for guidance.”
She faced severe and profound culture shock as she adjusted to a new way of life, struggling with the idea of completely starting over, but she met each challenge with grace and tenacity.
Mah and her family lacked the proper resources and networks to continue her education. Eckerd Connects stepped up to provide support and guidance to help her navigate our program, and life in America.
Mah was guided on how to apply to college and for financial aid. This spring, she proudly graduated from Borough of Manhattan Community College with her associate’s degree and as the valedictorian of her graduating class. She has been accepted to Yale in the fall as a Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology major with a Pre-Med concentration.
“My goal is to become a pediatric surgeon,” she wrote to us, “and to eventually open up my own private clinic to provide healthcare to those families who may have trouble accessing healthcare.”
With the help of a Success Award from Eckerd Connects, Mah will have help to cover the tuition costs that aren’t covered by her scholarship, allowing her to pursue her dream of furthering her education and living up to her potential.
We’re proud of the example that Mah has set not only for her classmates and fellow program participants, but also for anyone intimidated by navigating a complex system that may stand as a barrier to success. If you ask her, she will tell you it has been worth every challenge: “Learning is a continuous and rewarding experience that helps you stay grounded knowing who you are, what your purpose is, and that you are not alone in your journey.”
Learn more about our Workforce Development programs or find a program near you below.