Valedictorian Asna Tabassum
by Janvi Amin
Amidst the many changes and hardships taking place around the world today, it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of others. Senior Asna Tabassum has been awarded the title of valedictorian, the highest honor a student can receive in high school. By excelling standards and leaving a positive impact on the people around her, Tabassum worked incredibly hard to achieve what she has.
Being awarded valedictorian is a special honor that requires immense dedication and motivation throughout high school. After finding out that she will be given this award, Tabassum stated that “It feels great and I’m so grateful” and that she studied for herself “and the title was just a plus.”
Taking advantage of the opportunities around her and rising to the occasion, it was important for her to not take what she has for granted, but instead use it to make something of herself. Throughout her life, Tabassum’s greatest role models have been her parents.
“They are literally superheroes with unimaginable strength. My dad was a first-generation college student who became the valedictorian of his university. My mom dropped everything— literally everything— to raise me and my brother. They are my best friends and I wish I could be half as strong as them.” With the support of her parents, Tabassum worked hard to reach the heights and goals she set, in order to ensure a great future ahead.
Although school work and extracurriculars were a big part of Tabassum’s high school experience, the memories she has made with peers and friends will stay with her as she moves on to the next stage of her life. Tabassum’s favorite memories include, “getting a noise complaint from the cops during GC filming, planning a friend’s 16th birthday surprise, designing stupid lab report covers for physics, and looking at my heart’s ventricles through an ultrasound.”
Looking back on all the fun times she had in high school, Tabassum wished she had “more dumb moments with my friends where we laughed uncontrollably, or just visited more places,” but her experience was, overall, fun and rewarding.
Beyond high school, Tabassum hopes to be a surgeon in an international medical relief organization and provide healthcare to low-resource areas. With this experience, she “would join the UN or some other peacemaking body to reform healthcare legislation.”
Her hard work both in and out of Ayala have been an important part of creating a strong foundation for the demanding field of healthcare that lies in her future. One thing Tabassum wants to change about the world is healthcare accessibility.
“Where my family lives in India, good and honest healthcare is a rare privilege to have. If I could, I would make sure that medicine would be easily accessible.” Tabassum’s ambition and dedication to the field of healthcare is sure to help her reach her future goals, and change the lives of the people around her.
As high school comes to a close and college seems closer than ever, reflection is an important part of moving forward. One piece of advice that Tabassum has for underclassmen is to not outsource validation.
“Don’t look to other people, grades, or college acceptances for happiness. This was the biggest learning curve for me, and I’m still working through it. Just validate yourself, and look to yourself for happiness.” With motivation and dedication, Tabassum has reached great heights, and along with it, the title of valedictorian.