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Piedmont student thrives in the land of opportunity

Nadia Mansoor’s family came to the United States from Pakistan in August of 2010 to provide her with a better education than she would have received in their home county. Just two years later, Nadia is an eighth-grader at Piedmont IB Middle and a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's prestigious Young Scholars award. As a Young Scholar, Nadia will receive a full-time educational advisor, academic support and financial assistance that is available to her through graduate school.

Among the first things Nadia noticed when she came to the United States were the educational offerings and resources available to students.

“Learning in the United States is super different—especially IB. When I first came here, the language barrier made it hard to learn science and social studies,” Nadia said. “I have the opportunity to learn so much more here. We get to learn about other countries; that is something we didn’t do in Pakistan.”

Nadia’s dream is to attend Harvard University and become a medical scientist. Early on, her father recognized her interests and did what he could to encourage them. He engaged Nadia in new technologies at a young age and suggested she learn about women in science whom she could look up to as role models.

“My dad supported me and my dream, but said that to get to Harvard, I’d need to apply for scholarships,” Nadia said.

When she learned the Young Scholars award came with college-prep opportunities and financial aid for college Nadia began the scholarship application process. 

“It looked really hard, but I took a chance and tried.” 

Nadia’s dad checked the mail on the day the packet from the Jack Kent Cook Foundation arrived. He patiently waited for her come home and open it.

“We both screamed because we were so excited," Nadia said. "I have so many chances now because of the scholarship.” 

Today, Nadia is one-step closer to her dream of going to Harvard. She and her family are working with her educational advisor to match her interests in math and technology with educational offerings over the summer, one of the first goals of the scholarship program. 

“I love to learn new things. Now I will have more opportunities,” Nadia said. “This is a very big deal for my family and me. I’m so very proud. It feels great.”

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