For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Aliyah Asadi

1255

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Second-year UCLA Bruin majoring in Human Biology & Society, and hoping to get my Master's degree as well. On track to graduate early, and hope to start a career as a Physician Assistant! I'm a first-generation, low income trilingual Afghan-American interested in learning about the world and eager to make new memories through my college journey in a new city!

Education

University of California-Los Angeles

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Anthropology
    • Human Biology

Steele Canyon High

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Physician Assistant or Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant

    • Education Coach

      Pathway at UCLA Extension
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Peer Facilitator/Ambassador

      Focused and Naturally Confident Youth
      2021 – 20221 year

    Sports

    Volleyball

    Club
    2015 – 20194 years

    Golf

    Varsity
    2021 – 20221 year

    Awards

    • CIF Scholar Athlete Captain

    Research

    • Genetics

      David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — Research Assistant
      2023 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Rancho San Diego Elementary — helped organize & run events, assistant to teacher
      2018 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Focused and Naturally Confident Youth — Peer Facilitator
      2021 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Ms. Susy’s Disney Character Scholarship
    My favorite Disney character is Princess Jasmine. I know it's a bit basic for a female to favor a Disney princess, but I can't help loving her. Growing up Afghan-American, none of my peers really understood my background and couldn't be bothered to understand who I really was/where I came from. Although Disney depicts Jasmine with pretty obscure origins, I still feel somewhat represented through her. Just as my country has its own culture with blends of Middle East and South Asian aspects, so does Disney's Princess Jasmine. Just as her single father is strict and rarely lets her out of the palace, my single mother is just as strict, rarely allowing me to go out and explore the world. Still, despite having wealth and beauty, Jasmine still values education and studies well, which made her one of my role models growing up. While she could get away with having a snobby attitude and being a spoiled brat, she instead is known for treating everyone equally, being mature, and staying calm in all situations. Princess Jasmine helps shed a brighter spotlight on South and West Asia, proving that girls with non-Eurocentric features such as hers (dark thick hair, tanned skin, almond eyes, etc.) can still be gorgeous. Being the first non-white Disney princess, she paved the path for greater diversity in the entertainment industry and set the tone for future POC princesses to thrive as well, such as Mulan, Tiana, and more. Now more than ever, Disney princesses are coming from various ethnic backgrounds, and I believe a lot to do with that is thanks to Princess Jasmine's success. On a lighter and superficial note, regardless of the connections that can be drawn between me and Jasmine, she and the movie Aladdin in general have always been visually pleasing to me, with the flashy outfits and glimmering jewelry. I love the aesthetics of the palace and bazaars, and the fact that she has a tiger as a pet. She is so unique and clearly sticks out amongst other princesses, and I'm forever grateful for Disney creating such a spectacular world for my younger self to experience and learn from.
    Show your Mettle - Women in STEM Scholarship
    Despite my ultimate career choice fluctuating over the years as my education advanced, my dream future has always been the same: my whole life I dreamt of being an independent, strong woman, successful and stable in every aspect of my life, regardless of whatever career path I chose to follow. I chose to pursue STEM, specifically biology, because of my great experience in AP Biology my junior year of high school, despite it being online. Initially I figured I’d go into pre-med, because that was the career path I was most exposed to growing up before taking this class. Luckily, as I progressed throughout the year and my knowledge of life science skyrocketed, I got the opportunity to learn about various other career paths related to biology that didn’t necessarily require me to become a physician. This prompted me to do more of my own research, and I found career paths such as being a CAA (certified anesthesiologist assistant) that would allow me to work in a hospital, still be hands-on, and join the workforce in a reasonable amount of time. Growing up as the eldest child of a first-generation, low-income family I always had to pick up more than my own weight around the house. However, doing extra chores and taking care of those younger or older than me didn’t bother me too much, as it was a normal experience for me. So, I figured out how to be successful academically, graduating salutatorian of my class, while being active in my school and community, having an internship, and still making more than enough time for my loved ones. What actually arose as a big issue for me was my family’s values; in other words, their mentality was more inhibiting to my future than their physical problems. With my single mother being a conservative Afghan Muslim immigrant, she’s held steadfast to her traditional thoughts, holding me back from a lot of opportunities. For example, I had to quit volleyball as a kid and wasn’t allowed to play sports until my junior year of high school because my mother thought the uniforms were too revealing; I was only allowed to play golf because there was more leeway for modest outfits. Furthermore, I would get scolded for spending too much time doing homework and not doing more housework, because it was my job as the eldest daughter to take care of those things. My family has been an obstacle to get over in my pursuit of gaining independence, as they’ve always believed a girl should never be alone, and certain places/career paths simply aren’t meant for women. Because of this, I had to severely limit myself to college options, even though I would’ve been a competitive applicant for out-of-state colleges. This year, I made progress overcoming the block when I was accepted into UCLA for the Human Biology and Society major. After months of begging, I finally convinced my mother to allow me to attend such a prestigious university, although it meant I’d have to move out, which my mother was strictly against. Even though LA is less than a three hour drive from our current residence in San Diego, this is a giant step towards gaining my independence and proving that I can thrive even without my family right behind my back. As the years progress while I work towards earning my Bachelor’s, I will also gain my mother’s trust and confidence in me to spread my wings and set an example for my younger family members.
    Small Seed Big Flower Scholarship
    Growing up as the eldest child of a first-generation, low-income family I always had to pick up more than my own weight around the house. However, doing extra chores and taking care of those younger or older than me didn’t bother me too much, as it was a normal experience for me. So, I figured out how to be successful academically, graduating salutatorian of my class, while being active in my school and community, having an internship, and still making more than enough time for my loved ones. What actually arose as a big issue for me was my family’s values; in other words, their mentality was more inhibiting to my future than their physical problems. With my single mother being a conservative Afghan Muslim immigrant, she’s held steadfast to her traditional thoughts, holding me back from a lot of opportunities. For example, I had to quit volleyball as a kid and wasn’t allowed to play sports until my junior year of highschool because my mother thought the uniforms were too revealing; I was only allowed to play golf because there was more leeway for modest outfits. Furthermore, I would get scolded for spending too much time doing homework and not doing more housework, because it was my job as the eldest daughter to take care of those things. Despite my ultimate career choice fluctuating over the years as my education advanced, my dream future has always been the same: my whole life I dreamt of being an independent, strong woman, successful and stable in every aspect of my life, regardless of whatever career path I chose to follow. My family has been an obstacle to get over in my pursuit of gaining independence, as they’ve always believed a girl should never be alone, and certain places/career paths simply aren’t meant for women. Because of this, I had to severely limit myself to college options, even though I would’ve been a competitive applicant for out-of-state colleges. This year, I made progress overcoming the block when I was accepted into UCLA for the Human Biology and Society major. After months of begging, I finally convinced my mother to allow me to attend such a prestigious university, although it meant I’d have to move out, which my mother was strictly against. Even though LA is less than a three hour drive from our current residence in San Diego, this is a giant step towards gaining my independence and proving that I can thrive even without my family right behind my back. As the years progress while I work towards earning my Bachelor’s, I will also gain my mother’s trust and confidence in me to spread my wings and set an example for my younger family members.
    Catrina Celestine Aquilino Memorial Scholarship
    Although my mother pushed me to get educated, from third grade forward I was on my own in regards to school. As a child of conservative Muslims, I never knew the importance of having extracurriculars or community involvement. Therefore, it was impossible for me to convince them to let me spend time in extracurricular or school programs, let alone join sports because of the uniforms. When I was eight, my father left our family and moved to San Diego, while my mother, my two younger sisters and I stayed up north for a few years. I accepted that an important figure in my life disappeared, but never realized the impact until I got older. I watched my mother cry for months on end, but couldn't do much besides sit next to her and offer her tissues or food/water. From then, we worried about money, moved around constantly, and feared for our safety. We also had to give up activities because my mother couldn't take care of us all while dropping/picking us up at different times. Some days, I couldn’t even go to school because our old car would break down from time to time, or we’d be too low on gas. As the eldest, I took on the second-mom role in replacement of my father, and as I grew older, I enhanced my ability to fulfill my many responsibilities and be independent. I helped take care of my sisters, changing diapers, tutoring, and waking them up/putting them to sleep. As an elementary student, I’d often find myself with extra homework because of random days I’d miss, and I’d complete projects by myself because my mom didn’t know how to help me. I always had the goal of going to college, but I thought that the only component that determined acceptance was my grades. I had no information whatsoever about how to get into college, apply, etc., and was never told how to seek out additional help. I overcame my obliviousness by joining the First Gen Scholars program, which helped with applications. I finally found a group of people who were in a similar situation as me, and they were able to help me navigate the entire application process. In a week I went from not even knowing how to set up an account to already having filled out half the form and brainstorming for my PIQs. By the end of my senior year, I was getting accepted for my desired majors in top schools such as UCLA, UCSD, and UC Berkeley. Going through these struggles helped me have the confidence to be able to figure everything out about what I need in order to be successful. I’m proud to be that role model for my younger sisters and cousins so they don’t have the same struggle, and that they got to see their older sister be the first Afghan-Muslim woman to be salutatorian of their high school. Through my Human Biology and Society degree I’m going to be pursuing at UCLA, I want to not only help patients in the hospital setting, but also prove that first-generation low-income people have a place in professional settings. Besides just contributing to diversity in workplaces, I want to show generations of future struggling students that their dreams are achievable. I’ll help blaze the path for my family members, and other FGLI students to follow in my footsteps.
    Bold Community Activist Scholarship
    I make positive changes locally through my three school clubs, and my internship. With Save the Planet Club, which I’m the president of, I organize fundraisers such as selling club-made keychains or vegan foods, and donate the money raised to local charities such as the Farm Animal Refuge and San Diego Surfrider Foundation. We also collected various items such as shoe boxes and towel paper rolls to repurpose them and turn into cat toys to donate to the San Diego Humane Society. As president of the Red Cross Club, we sell handmade jewelry in neighborhoods and cookie brownies at school events, donating the proceeds to the American Red Cross. As secretary of Teens Against Human Trafficking Club, I help facilitate our club’s instagram (@schs.taht) to keep my peers aware of ways to keep themselves and each other safer. My biggest contribution is through my internship with the San Diego non-profit organization Focused and Naturally Confident Youth. I’ve done over 100 hours of community service with this group, working as a peer facilitator where I met with girls from local middle schools to teach them about STEAM, leadership, self-love, and more. I also helped plan and lead the 2021 and 2022 FANCY Expos, which aims to connect over 200 youth to various local and free resources to enrich their futures, giving them school/career advice, community service/job opportunities, and a safe place for them to be themselves and connect with others their age. Overall, I try my best to not only aid my community in a multitude of ways, but I also strive to inspire others around me to do the same, and help individuals find where they can have an impact in an area that fulfills themselves as well.
    Bold Learning and Changing Scholarship
    I learned that first-generation low-income students, especially females like me, have to work twice as hard, seek out assistance, and take advantage of available resources to get a career that allows us to be successful. Coming from an Afghan-Muslim family, all of whom are immigrants, indoors I listen to the extremely traditional views of my elders, but go outside to the liberal views of Americans. My whole life, I’ve only seen women in my family taking care of domestic issues: raising children, cooking food, and cleaning. No one in my immediate family has gone to college, but more importantly is that none of the women worked: the men were always the breadwinners and in dominant positions of the family. Just going out in public, seeing working women, sparked my interest. Ever since I was young, I was too shy to vocalize to my religious, conservative family that I want to be independent and be in charge of my life. I want to be a strong, beautiful woman in a power suit, doing as I please, making and spending my own money, without needing a man to take care of me, the complete opposite of what my family and pretty much anyone from West Asia especially, would expect me to do. Seeing other girls older than me from families with views similar to mine, being held back from getting a higher education and being forced into a submissive, domestic role has not only angered me, but motivated me to work and study harder so that I won’t have to be subjected to that same fate. I’ll become an inspiring role model to those younger than me, and prove that females, regardless of their backgrounds, are just as capable as men in doing anything they set their minds to.
    Bold Climate Changemakers Scholarship
    As an original member of the Save the Planet Club at Steele Canyon High School, I started out as a general member during my sophomore year and served as President my senior year. Save the Planet means so much to me because I watched it grow from a handful of people to a club with over 30 weekly participants. I learned how to break out of my shell to do outreach, encourage others to help an important cause, network with other organizations, and work with others to lead fundraising events, organize craft fairs, and teach my peers how to live more sustainably, while also learning new things about the earth myself. In the 2021-2022 school year, I organized and led various fundraisers at school events to raise hundreds of dollars to donate to local charities including the Farm Animal Refuge and the San Diego Surfrider Foundation. During Earth Week, the club created themed posts for each day of the week, giving tips on vegan/vegetarian meals, endangered animals, ways to conserve water, and more. We also sold crocheted animal keychains handmade by club members, and decorated pins made out of used metal bottle caps and safety pins. This coming school year, I helped set plans in motion to get Tree Machines onto campus, even though I’ve graduated. All the gently used clothes and textiles collected will be donated to third world countries, and for every tree machine we fill up trees will be planted in Africa. Reducing clothing waste will help the climate, and if we collect the most items out of other schools in the nation, we can also win up to $2000, which our club plans to donate to a charity fighting climate change.
    Hulede Collegiate Golf Scholarship
    I learned persistence through playing golf. I always wanted to do a sport but wasn’t able to join because of a strict Muslim mother. I finally convinced my mom to allow me to join my school’s golf team during my junior year since it was easier to wear conservative outfits, my mom was able to pick and drop me off according to schedule, and she understood that I needed exercise and human interaction after being stuck at home so long because of covid. As soon as I started, I fell in love with the sport and was always super excited to go to practice. However, there were freshman girls who had been playing since five years old, and I was a junior with no experience trying to find my way. This motivated me to put in as much time and effort as I could to get on to the varsity team. From March through October of 2021, with the exclusion of summer break, I spent more than 15 hours a week at the golf course practicing. Five days a week, right after school ended I would change and then practice at the course for three hours at a time. Each day, I’d spend an hour on the putting green working on my short game, another hour on the driving range working on my long game, 30 minutes practicing chipping and getting out of sand bunkers, then the rest of my time was spent playing on the actual course with the little bit of daylight left. My hard work paid off, and I was playing in varsity matches my senior year for a D-1 team that ended up having an undefeated season, and I even won the CIF Scholar-Athlete Captain Award. This award is given to only one person a year within each sport, and I was awarded it for having the highest GPA out of every single female high school golfer in our league/region. With close to four hundred hours of practice, I managed to go from not knowing anything to playing alongside girls that had been playing golf for multiple years, some of whom have been playing since they were five. Although I didn’t make captain due to my lack of experience, many of the younger players, even if they had been playing longer than me, looked up to me for improvement tips related to both golf and school. In the future, I plan to use this persistence to drive me through college. I’m on track to get my Bachelor’s in Human Biology & Society at UCLA at least a year early, and from there I’m going to continue on to earn my Master’s degree as well. Although I won’t be playing golf for the UCLA team, I still plan on playing regularly as it has become a part of my regular routine and a hobby which I truly love, as it allows me to clear my head and socialize, which is vital to have as a college student. If it weren’t for golf, I wouldn’t be where I am today: I wouldn’t have been able to push through the 8 AP courses I took during the time I played for my school’s team, I wouldn’t have put as much effort into my college applications or scholarships, and I wouldn’t have the determination I have now to achieve my dreams. I’ve played other sports in the past, but I owe the majority of what I have today to golf in particular, and the persistence I developed while learning to hone my skills going from rock bottom to the top.