Do you know any 23-year-old woman who has graduated from college, and is already financially stable enough to support her family? If no, then meet this lady.
Ms. Fateeha Amjad it is! She is young philanthropist from NYC, USA. At just the age of 23, she is an enthusiast who works like a machine! I am in no way related to her, but from my time spent with her, I feel as if she is more than family to me.
Long things short, Fateeha Amjad is a Pakistani/American who is the founder of “The Fam Scholarship”.
FAM Scholarship: A Stroke of Genius
Fateeha whose own name means victorious decided to name her scholarship fund after the word ‘Fam’, which is actually an acronym of the term “family”. Millennials living in the states also refer to their friends and close ones as Fam. However, for Fateeha, this word is closer to her heart as these are her parents’ initials, which is why she has dedicated this scholarship in their honour.
“With all the terrifying events that the world is going through, we should actually spread love and joy in every way possible. As a young girl, I was always raised to give back to my community in some way or another. Now at 23 years old (am I an adult yet? Or at least I attempt to be one) these morals have led to the launch of The FAM Scholarship. The FAM scholarship was inspired by my own “family”, who helped me become the Engineer/ Entrepreneur I am today. Being a double minority (Immigrant & Female), fitting in the society was often an insurmountable challenge, whether it was for my ethnic background or finding jobs in a male-dominated field. However, my parents, sisters, friends, and professors pushed me forward and made sure I never quit, even when I was awfully close to giving up. After all, we all are one big FAMily. Our ultimate goal is to help one another grow and be successful rather than break each other apart.” said the award founder.
Last year, she awarded 2 young girls from Wagner High School with this award. Each year she awards these scholarships to high-school graduating seniors in order to enable them to afford college tuition. This year I am told she is granting this award to 4 graduating high-school students. The best part is that, she uses her own hard-earned money for these scholarships without asking for funds from the public, or from any of her acquaintances.
Attaining Accomplishments, One Step at a Time
By profession, she is a full-time Engineer, and works for a very prestigious private company in New York City. She is also an adjunct lecturer at her college, maintains her own private business while running her family, manages this scholarship, is an active athlete and volunteers with many organizations. Being an Engineer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Social Activist and Athlete, who also supports her family back in Pakistan, Fateeha is an all-rounder, who manages her work-life balance with great fitness. She is a very humble human being who believes that fulfilling the responsibilities of a daughter is her top priority and everything else comes after it.
Being a tutor, she is well aware of the fact that her behaviour will have an influence on her students, which is why she comes across as a very engaging person with an personable and humorous personality. She brings laughter and joy wherever she goes.
Fateeha also manages a tutoring business. She coaches children of all ages in mathematics which is her true love, and gives away her earnings to different charities. She splits her salary into two sections. One half is used for her family expenses that is to put her sisters through college, etc. While the other half is reserved for all the charity services that she campaigns for.
Many individuals have told her to start her own organization, but she always declines such invitations, saying: “Any one can make an organization, but the real struggle is to maintain it, and I think I would rather help the already existing ones (organizations), to excel and grow further, after all we all one humanity”.
She is an active member of St. Jude’s Foundation California, USA, a founding Donor and also an active Volunteer for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. She also volunteers and campaigns for EIDI Foundation, Pakistan and ICNA just to name a few. Every Sunday, Fateeha offer services as a Sunday school teacher at her local masjid, helping and teaching young children about the basic Islamic manners, to revive Islamic history and teachings in this generation.
Pursuing Her Passion
Even though she has so much on hand, she still manages to volunteer at the local nursing home/Hospital by her home in NYC. She is a motivational speaker, great debater and often holds various workshops of all ages on public issues or something as small as resume/interview workshops.
How it started?
23-year-old,Fateeha Amjad is the oldest among 3 sisters. She came to America at the age of 1, and since then calls New York City her home. Coming from a culture in her extended family where only having girls is frowned upon, Fateeha’s only goal was to break that stereotype. Even though she had a strong passion to study Law and eventually have her own political news show, yet she ended up studying Computer Science and Mathematics at the Verrazano Honors Program at the College of Staten Island (CSI).
“Often times I was the only girl in my computer science class, and was often ridiculed for being a girl in a male-dominated field, but I knew if I gave up, I would never be able to stand up for women,” said Ms. Amjad who still admits she does not consider herself a feminist 100% and graduated with a near-to-perfect GPA. “I believe there are some things woman can do better than man and vice versa, hence there should always be limits and respect among both genders.”
Along with being the Computer Science Department Graduation Commencement Speaker; Fateeha is an award recipient for: College of Staten Island Dean’s List: Highest Honors -Computer Science Department Award -Honors Undergraduate Research Stipend Award -CSI Auxiliary Services Corporation Award for Outstanding Service in Computer Science -CSI Alumni Association Outstanding Student Leadership Award -Student Government Outstanding Graduating Student Leadership and Service Award just to name a few. During her time at CSI, on campus, she worked as a Peer Mentor, New Student Orientation Leader, Math and Computer Science Tutor, Adjunct CLT, Research Assistant while juggling her time between the college clubs that she was part of, over 1000+ hours volunteering at various organizations and many part-time jobs outside of campus as well. “No matter how busy I am or where in the world I might be, I will make sure I read all my Namazs (5 prayers Muslims read each day) on time,” happily claimed Ms. Amjad who admits her success and sanity is only due to Allah, having Tawwaqal and her parents’ prayers.
“At times, I forgot what sleep was, there was a time, when our family business nearly filed for bankruptcy and things got very hard for my family. But I knew this was my time to show my family and society, as a girl I can help just as any boy would in this situation.”
Her goal was to earn so that she may become able to give her parents a rest from all the struggling they did and still do.
Triumphing Through Life
“I put my heart and soul into everything that I do, whether it is researching Game Theory with Professor O’Bryant, or even volunteering at the Muslim Majlis of Staten Island every Sunday. I give it my 110%,” says Ms. Amjad.
She completed her thesis on Game Theory, and how to be a better player, which ultimately gives us an insight into her athletic skills.
Even though she has come such a long way, Fateeha is still a young girl at heart. Regardless of her hectic schedule, she takes out her time for reading, traveling and practices kick boxing and likes to play badminton and basketball. She is a fitness junkie, but still likes to indulge in good food every so often.
In her own words: “If I could, I would volunteer for every charity in the world. I work to only give it back to others. After all, what is the purpose of money. Live humbly & be kind. Ultimately I want to work so hard that I no longer have to introduce myself and leave a legacy behind InshAllah.”
Fateeha’s accomplishments are truly inspirational for those individuals who look up to her. She rose from humble beginnings, fought her way through miserable financial conditions, and decided to help those who had much the same background as hers! She can rightly be called the Wonder Woman of Pakistan!