June 2014 Student Spotlight

Aliza Makhani, Duke University

aliza makhani

High School: Granada Hills Charter High School, Los Angeles, CA
JK Center: San Fernando Valley, CA
College Attending in the fall: Duke University
Other colleges where you were accepted:
– Johns Hopkins University
– Emory University
– University of Southern California (USC)
– New York University (NYU)

High School Activities:
– American Red Cross: President of the district, which included 12 schools and >400 volunteers
– American Red Cross Club: President

Extracurricular Activities:
– Selected to attended a Model UN conference in Doha, Qatar to discuss environmental issues
– Global Encounters participant 2012 in Mombasa, Kenya
– Beautified low-income elementary school campus with help from Project Greenification

Favorite Hobby:
Painting. I’ve been taking an art class for almost 7 years through which I’ve learned a ton about different mediums of creating art ie oil paints, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, markers, charcoal, and a few more.

What during high school best helped you achieve success?:
“I sought out opportunities that weren’t so readily available, and followed a path that I wanted to follow. ?I always tried to challenge myself inside and outside of the classroom by taking advantage of the opportunities that my community offered in addition to what my high school had to offer.”

What advice do you have for incoming/current high school students to succeed?
“I advise students to reach out beyond just their high schools and to truly pursue what it is that they want to. ?It does not matter how obscure a student’s passion may be or how unavailable opportunities may be to fit the student’s exact desires. ?These things should not discourage someone from doing exactly what they want. ?It is more important to follow something one is passionate about than to feel obligated to join the same clubs and teams that many of one’s peers may be joining in school. ?As Ismailis, we are lucky to automatically have access to such a large network of diverse people with diverse experiences.

In terms of college applications, I advise students to try and have one common theme that runs through their applications; a theme that essentially all essays somehow touch on. ?For example, one of my themes included my passion for environmental activism.

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