June 8, 2021
"It took time to get to this point...where I'm finally getting accepted to colleges and seeing the scholarships, it took time. Did I ever think it was gonna happen? No, because I grew up with many insecurities with many, many changes in my life."
"In my opinion, I want to ultimately be someone's role model and impact someone enough to where they become big. I don't want to be known. They don't have to speak my name or anything. I just want to know that I impacted someone enough, where I got them out of a dark place and into on top of the world.
I'm a senior at Fossil Ridge High School. So, originally I am from Pakistan. I lived there for not long, like a year and a half, but I have very fond memories. Constantly because of my dad's job we were moving to New York and back to my home in Islamabad. And then finally, when my brother was born in Coney Island, my parents were like, you know what? America is where we need to be because there's so much more opportunity. And I mean, it's a great nation overall, you have so many successful people.You have so many great rights here that are unavailable right now in Pakistan. But even though that is my home and my birthplace, New York is my home and so is Texas. The characteristics that built me over there made me the person I am and what I can do today."
"As shocking as this is, and as highly as I speak around my ethnicity, my ethnicity was one of my insecurities. When I grew up, I was actually the only brown person in my school. So that was definitely a big insecurity because many people they spoke about what I eat, why look like this? Why my parents talk differently and stuff.
So that obviously hit me a little bit but I would always cover it up. I just conceal my feelings and I just continue on and I talk about something else. But it did stop me from taking pride in at least knowing myself a little bit more and I know the first thing in accepting yourself is accepting your heritage. And I was not accepting it and I do regret that. But I'm more encouraged now to speak about the problems in my countries, the beauty of it too, the people in it, and everything like that. The history of it; I'm so proud to mention it."
"So I've lived in Fort Worth for quite some time and, you know what, Dallas Cowboys are the best. But, I like that the place I live is very diverse. That's the main thing and I think that has helped me build a strong foundation of accepting who I am and accepting my culture and heritage. And it took time to even get to this point, my senior year where I'm finally getting accepted to colleges and seeing the scholarships, it took time. Did I ever think it was gonna happen? No, because I grew up with many insecurities with many, many changes in my life.
So seeing all this coming together makes me feel like I've put in so much work and now it's finally getting paid off. I want people to know you don't always need other people to make that change. You need to be able to figure out, okay, you know what? This is what I wanna do. Maybe it won't happen tomorrow, but let me work towards that. You will find opportunities yourself. There's gonna be opportunities that come to you, but not until you find who you are."
Stephanie dreams of being a doctor, but fears debt and leaving home
"The medical field is a very well-paid field but it's very expensive to study at the same time and going into debt is something very scary."