Following Her Parents’ Path While Making Her Own

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Rahimah Faiq’s upbringing defies stereotyping. The 19-year-old Pakistan-born sophomore grew up being told, “You can do anything a man can do.” Her role model? Her mom, who once raced cars and was the first woman to play on a previously all-male cricket team. Rahimah, the eldest child of college-educated professionals, says both parents have always encouraged her and her siblings to follow their example.

Rahimah, who came to the U.S. at age 5, is packing her life with experiences she hopes will position her to “do anything.” She and her family returned to Pakistan during her last two years of high school, re-exposing her to that culture. But she returned to New Jersey to complete high school, where she served on the student council and also was part of the Model United Nations. Through this program she interacted with students from across the country and participated in eye-opening conferences at places like Harvard University.

As an RU–N student she has interned as an advisor to Pakistan’s permanent mission to the United Nations, commuting to the UN building two or three times a week from her home in Rutherford, New Jersey. During this semester’s internship she continued to maintain a fulltime credit load on campus.

Rahimah is currently chief of staff for the Student Government Association, where she oversees the student senate, runs their meetings and manages internal affairs. Those responsibilities have not only honed her administrative and organizational skills, but helped her develop the leadership skills needed to resolve interpersonal conflicts and fully tap the potential of her fellow students.

Rahimah has some advice for fellow students: “Don’t limit yourself—try everything. You’re too young to know what you want to do with the rest of your life.” It’s advice she lives every day.