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Sarah Ali

1275

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

My name is Sarah Ali and I am a freshman at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My education is my top priority as I am ambitious to succeed in helping others. The obstacles I have overcome have allowed me to strengthen my courage to take on the world. I want to be in a position where I can help those in need and I can use my voice to make a difference in this world. I am majoring in neuroscience with a minor in business. I hope to apply to medical school to pursue a career as a physician and open a clinic where I can help low-income communities. As a member of a lower-middle-class family and a single parent home, I am trying to avoid debt and make my college career as smooth as possible on myself, and on my family. Any scholarship support will help me decrease my loans and the financial burden of college on my family.

Education

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, General
    • Neurobiology and Neurosciences
  • GPA:
    4

Hoover High School

High School
2017 - 2021
  • GPA:
    4

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Neurobiology and Neurosciences, Other
    • Public Health, General
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Surgeon

    • Founder and CEO

      Vijiti
      2019 – Present5 years
    • Pharmacy Technician

      Walgreens Pharmacy
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Dancing

    Club
    2020 – Present4 years

    Research

    • Neuroscience

      University of Alabama at Birmingham — Research Intern
      2019 – 2020
    • Cell Biology and Anatomy

      UAB — Research Assistant
      2020 – 2020

    Arts

    • Independent

      Music
      2021 – Present
    • Independent

      Drawing
      NA
      2021 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Ismaili Muslim Volunteer Corp of Alabama — Team Lead
      2018 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Vijiti Club — Founder & President
      2019 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Independent — Workshop Manager, Lead Presenter
      2019 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Children’s of Alabama — Nursing Ambassador Volunteer
      2019 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Independent — Organizer, Community Outreach Coordinator, & Publicity Chair
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Early Childhood Development Program — Teacher Assistant
      2018 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Vijiti — Founder and CEO
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    Winner
    The strong smell of disinfectant infiltrated my nostrils. The fluorescent lights and white walls pierced my eyes. I looked down at my trembling hands, twisting and turning them as if doing so would hold down the turmoil inside me. Despair roamed the room, expelled on the breath of fearful family members like me who were doing their best to bite down on the pain that brought them here. It was Thanksgiving Day, and instead of counting our blessings at the dinner table, I found myself sitting at my brother's bedside as a long, flat, piercing sound penetrated my ears. My brother had passed away. I watched as his body vanished into what had been fragmented by a heart attack. The plaques and blockages that accumulated in his heart now seeped into our daily lives. It was as if I was touched by something chronic; something that wasn’t fatal, but still felt like it could be. In search of an outlet to conquer this emotional numbness, I sought to channel my energy into something more restorative. In December 2018, I volunteered at Cannan Orphanage in Mombasa, Kenya with an international platform called Global Encounters. As a group of 40 people that were selected from a body of Ismaili Muslim students, my connections with the children were acutely intimate. The carefree attitudes and contagious smiles I was greeted with would have never led me to question their compromised quality of life. The children bathed in saltwater, used their fingers to brush their teeth, and cared for their menstrual cycles with cardboard boxes and brown paper bags. As I witnessed their hardships, a growing sense of responsibility stirred within me. I no longer felt numb. An accumulation of every touching story from Cannan Orphanage resulted in Vijiti, a local and globally-focused nonprofit organization that I founded. Vijiti delivers medical supplies and creates hygiene curriculum for schools to uplift marginalized areas in Africa and Asia. My peers now help the cause through the Vijiti Club at my high school. With the help of our volunteers, Vijiti has served 3,000 care packages on a global scale and has designed a health curriculum for seven schools this past year. Not only did starting Vijiti give me a sense of control, but for the first time, I realized that I had the power to do something: I could prevent another family from experiencing pain and loss similar to mine. The memory of my brother dying will always be sad and it will always hurt, but experiences like these have shaped me just as much as the joyful ones have. And just as permanently. My life lacked a purpose after my brother’s life was gone, but his death gave life to Vijiti, and Vijiti gave more meaning to my life. And this is how I honor my brother: by making sure his death isn’t a black hole that sucked me in, but instead the spark I needed to be able to burn brighter.