Nafeesa Andrabi Attends ‘Take the Lead Conference’ at Mt. Holyoke College



Pictures above: Nafeesa Andrabi with children

South Hadley, Mass: Nafeesa Andrabi, a junior at Claremont High School and resident of Claremont, Calif., was one of 42 young women who participated in Mount Holyoke College’s leadership program, Take the Lead, which took place September28 to October 1. This year, 673 candidates were nominated by their counselors, teachers, religious or community leaders, and other adult mentors. The long weekend, offering young women a range of workshops and activities on leadership, focused on mentoring, diversity, and social activism.
Tapping into teenagers desires to make a difference on such issues as violence, environmentalism, and poverty, Take the Lead helped Andrabi develop an action project to address a social issue of her choice. The highly selective women’s college will award $500 prizes to three completed action projects.
Andrabi is the daughter of Professor Tahir and Shaila Andrabi of Claremont, Calif., and Pakistan. Her action project is titled ‘Smile-a-Child’ and will aim to help earthquake traumatized children in Pakistan find their smile.
Each student was paired with a Mount Holyoke College student mentor trained at the College’s Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts. The mentors worked one-on-one with the students to develop their action project, and will continue to offer advice, feedback, and support through email for up to six months, until the project is complete.
Patricia VandenBerg, director of Take the Lead, says about the program, “Take the Lead continues Mount Holyoke’s proud tradition of cultivating powerful and effective women leaders. With the challenges our world now faces, young teen leaders are needed more than ever.”
Founded in 1837 by educational pioneer Mary Lyon, Mount Holyoke College is one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges. Rigorous academics and an internationally diverse student body create an environment that prepares women to meet the challenges of our increasingly complex world.
Nafeesa has already made progress on the project by securing an agreement with the LA Unified School District to donate surplus school supplies to selected schools in the Pakistan earthquake zone. For more information and ways to help on Nafeesa’s earthquake project, contact andrabis@hotmail.com.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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