Intern Spotlight: Sadia Kahn

This is the third in a series of spotlights on our fall 2017 student interns.  Learning Life’s students this fall are assisting with research, curriculum development,  outreach, and family and youth learning activities for our Citizen Diplomacy Initiative (CDI).  Sadia Kahn, interviewed below, is helping with our learning activities, grassroots fundraising, and technological and curriculum research, among other things.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Pakistan, a country in South Asia, next to India.

What school do you attend, and what is your year and major there?

I am a senior majoring in human relations (a combination of sociology and psychology) at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to read Urdu poetry.  (Urdu is one of the main languages spoken in Pakistan.)  I also like to watch Youtube lectures of Muslims scholars and learn more about Islam.

Is there a life experience you have had that has particularly shaped you thus far?  If so, what is it, and how has it shaped you?  

When I was a child, I could not walk until I was three.  At the time, my family lived in a small village in the mountains of Pakistan.  Even when I could walk a little bit, I was unable to attend school because the mountain path to school was dangerous enough that I could fall off the mountain. By the time I was able to walk to school, I was eight years old.  Family and my fellow students would always tell me that I was not capable of doing certain things, which made me doubt my abilities, and made me feel like I was too far behind to attend school.

I eventually overcame these obstacles, but I have a sister who is moderately autistic, so whenever someone tells her you cannot do this or that, I tell them to not to say this because I know how it can adversely impact one’s ability to learn necessary skills.

What are your career plans?

After graduation, I would like to work for a non-profit or other organization that helps people, whether children or else.

Why did you choose to intern with Learning Life?

I choose to intern with Learning Life because I want to improve my communication skills and gain experience that is not taught inside of a classroom.

What is the most beautiful place you have seen on Earth, and why is it so beautiful?

The most beautiful place I have seen on the earth is Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.  Seeing it made me feel like I was back home because I was surrounded by mountains, so many trees and greenery.