Essay Contest Honorable Mention


Asian Pacific Fund Essay Contest 

For the past couple of years, Ilm Academy students have been enthusiastic participants in the essay competition sponsored by the Asian Pacific Fund. This year, it is proud to announce Farrah Javed of Seventh Grade the recipient of an honorable mention award in the competition. Farrah Javed was invited to the Asian Arts Museum for the awards ceremony on May 5. Her views and a short interview was also featured on NBC news. Last year, Maha Durrani of Sixth Grade had been the recipient of the same award.

This year the theme of the essay was ‘Your Hopes and Dreams for the Future’. Under this heading, participants were encouraged to share their opinion on what they thought their community would look like in the coming decades, and what sort of change they wish to see in the world in the future. Each year, over 600 Bay Area students K-12 participate in the competition by submitting essays or videos on the given theme.

Many congratulations to Farrah Javed and the school hopes to see winners in the future, Insha Allah. Farrah Javed’s honorable mention entry can be read on the Asian Pacific Fund website. Following is her essay.  

What I Hope for the Future

Farrah Javed

Why are there such few Asian women who take the CEO role of a company? The main reason is that woman don’t feel entitled to such a role because of all the restrictions put on them by society. Being an Asian American Muslim in the United States has been quite challenging for me. Walking around the streets with people judging my appearance makes me wonder how weird they actually think it is for me to portray modesty with a hijab. Regardless of her differences and background, every woman deserves the right to get an equal education. A well- deserved education not only encourages them to be independent, but also allows them to experience life in the real world, and gives them a voice of their own that can be heard. 

Although progress is taking place, many Asian women are still deprived of the right to an equal education. One important reason why women deserve the right to an equal education is because it allows them to be independent. A strong education will allow a woman to obtain a proper job and thereby get the desired things she wants without any hesitation. Lack of education makes a woman feel inferior and incapable even though she is completely opposite to just that. 

The second reason why every Asian woman should get equal education is because the more educated people there are in the world, the better. A higher percentage of educated women will improve not only social standards of a nation, but also the economic and political standards. A nation that takes woman’s education as a priority will definitely see an increase in scientific advancements, improvements in healthcare, a balanced society, and so much more. In short, an educated population of women provides countless benefits to a country. 

The third reason why every woman should get an equal education is because it provides them with a voice that can be heard. Many Asian women find that their ideas and opinions are not valued or respected. For example, educated men who marry uneducated women are more likely to saying things like “I’m educated and you’re not, so I know what’s best for us,” or “if only you knew what the world was like outside, you wouldn’t be talking this way.” An  uneducated mind not only puts a woman’s talents to waste but also limits her social acceptance and value. 

Every single Asian woman deserves the rights to read, write, and learn. Why are women forbidden to succeed when they too are sent down with brains? In the future I hope that women not just my cornrnm1ity, but also across the world, will have access to college degrees and suitable jobs that will empower them to achieve infinite possibilities. Times are changing, and people need to stop holding women back. Being an Asian American woman, I hope to change things around the globe for the betterment for all women.


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