Meet another group of students headed to Bangladesh
November 8th 2011
by KaTrina Wentzel
Amanda He, self-proclaimed “dork,” lover of sci-fi, and baker extraordinaire, is an activist who loves volunteering and making a difference in the world. She grew up knowing she wanted to be someone who could inspire and make a difference in the lives of others. Originally, she thought that would happen through storytelling, but now she’s contemplating becoming a scientific researcher. Regardless, she knows her future career will be related to making a difference on a global scale, which is one reason she was excited to apply for AYLP. Amanda already has some global experience: in fact, one of Amanda’s most memorable moments was when she got sick in Nienebale, Mali. Her host family prayed over her and rubbed medicine on her skin, the experience of which not only helped heal her illness, but created a lasting memory and bond with her host family. She looks forward to getting to know her host family in Bangladesh and continuing her commitment to global education … even if she does so—in Amanda’s own words—in an “awkward, dorky” fashion!
by Mame Diarra Dioum
Tania Ahmed is a very patient, talented, driven, and friendly addition to the American Youth Leadership Program. She is a nation and world traveler who has been to Florida, France, Louisiana, and England. She has even been to Bangladesh to visit her family there! California however seems to among her favorite places to go because her older sister—who happens to be a filmmaker— lives there. She is Tania's inspiration when it comes to gaining independence and guidance in regards to practicing Islam. Tania is also an experienced dancer. She has done classical Indian dance and traditional Bengali dance. In college she wants to study biology specifically researching genetics and/or environmental science, which make sense since her favorite television shows are Criminal Minds and NCIS. She is a seventeen-year-old girl who is has a big workload, juggling extra-curricular and college application. However she seems on top of everything. She is really a down-to-earth purple-lover—and a person you definitely want to meet.
Mame Diarra Dioum
By Tania Ahmed
Mame Diarra Dioum is a senior at Oakland School for the Arts. She loves to knit, read, and write, and she has been dancing for twelve years. Mame Diarra has performed West African dances, as well as ballet and modern dances more recently. She is also an actor! Mame Diarra has a great fashion AND education sense. She shops at H&M and Urban Outfitters, and she loves Tom’s footwear. She plans to double major in English and Psychology and minor in French and acting next year. Although she is an actor now, Mame Diarra plans on learning to become a filmmaker. Mame Diarra has visited Senegal and France before to see family, and she wants to go to England too. She is excited and nervous to know what Bangladesh is like!
by Alisa Smith
Sam Schrivar signed up for AYLP because he wants to travel the world and experience cultures and people different from the ones in his day-to-day life. He’s excited to see what surprises Bangladesh has to offer. Lately, he has been very involved in his debate team. He practices after school and has debate tournaments every Saturday morning. His first debate was about the Bush Tax Cuts, but now his team is moving on to the potential statehood of Palestine. When Sam was younger, he was fascinated by dinosaurs and wanted to pursue a career in paleontology. Now he is more interested in astrophysics and exo-biology, possibly because of his obsession with Carl Sagan! All-in-all, Sam describes himself as hopeful, extroverted, and thoughtful.
By Sam Shrivar
Alisa loves lots of things—including video games, writing short stories, watching the news, and reading—but one of those things is playing with her three dogs. In fact, one of Alisa’s favorite memories is probably when she got her first dog. She had been asking for a dog for a while, but didn’t actually think she would get one. Still, she was determined to get one and, for some odd reason, name him/her “Shakka.” One day, around age four, Alisa was at her grandparents’ house, and when her parents came to pick her up they had a small black dog. She started playing with her and asked “Whose dog is this?” When her parents answered with, “Well, her name is Shakka...” she immediately knew the dog was hers. When Alisa was younger, she also loved dinosaurs. So much so, in fact, that she wanted to be a paleontologist! Now she’s still mildly interested in that but she’s really not sure what she wants to “be” due to her many interests. Some future careers she’s currently interested in pursuing include law, archaeology, and veterinary work. She’s only left the country once, so traveling to Bangladesh and “getting out more” to experience what other parts of the world are like really appeals to her.