The daughter of an Indian father and Pakistani mother, Raaheela Ahmed — a Muslim-American woman — has won a key local election in the US state of Maryland, a anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric dominated state.
Raaheela, 23, known as an education advocate, is driven by her passion for education and leadership, and is serving as a voice for her peers at universities all over Maryland. After a long year of campaigning, she recently won the school board race in Prince George’s county of Maryland by defeating a long-time system administrator by an impressive 15% vote difference. She is vouching for a position like this because that would give her oversight on how the County’s public school system was run.
“It’s interesting that on the same day Donald Trump was elected as President of the US, I — as a hijabi Muslim young woman — was also elected to serve in a public office. I think that speaks volumes about the diversity of American opinion, and that American dream is still well and alive,” Ahmed told TOI.
This is not Raaheela’s first attempt. In 2012, she ran for the same seat and lost. Her victory this time gains significance as her district has 80% of African-American population.
Endorsed by the former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steel, Raaheela further stated, “I’d like to act as a form of inspiration for other minorities that they can achieve what they will, given prayer, circumstance and hard work. This win would not have been possible without the support and belief that other people had in me.”
“For my young minority women, please know that at the end of the day, you are worthy of your highest inspirations. You have to believe that you are able to achieve them, even if societal structures do not yet allow for that. Because one day, those glass ceilings will break. And who knows?” Ahmed added.
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Raaheela Ahmed is an Associate in the Global Public Sector at Grant Thornton. She recently received a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park. While at the University of Maryland, she has received several awards for community service and leadership.
Feature Image Credit: Rabwah Times
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