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Early College Builds Confidence: One Student’s Story

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Topics: Early College High School

Yasmina Ahmad, a first generation college-goer and the child of Lebanese immigrants, is graduating from Toledo Early College High School this spring.Yasmina Ahmad, a first generation college-goer and the child of Lebanese immigrants, is graduating from Toledo Early College High School this spring.

As a child, my parents stressed the importance of receiving an education, working hard, and reaping the fruits of your labor. I applied to Toledo Early College High School (TECHS) because I wanted to go into the medical field and I knew that the school would help me seamlessly enter my field of study.  Additionally, I knew that the school would alleviate some of the financial burden I would have in college by paying for two years worth of college textbooks and supplies.

As a student at TECHS, I was transformed into a well-rounded constituent of the community, an effective leader, a caring mentor and a dedicated student. When I first came to TECHS, I was extremely shy and lacked confidence. But that all changed my junior year when I started getting involved in community service initiatives and extracurricular activities at TECHS. I was elected Vice President of Young Women for Change and President of The Community Wellness Association. In my last two years at TECHS, I coordinated a book drive, a hospice toy drive, a women’s shelter drive, a baby supply drive and two school-wide fundraisers.

Many students I mentored looked up to me and came to me for advice, which helped me perceive myself in a different light. Although I hadn’t believed in myself before, I knew that if I had the ability to mentor others and lead all these drives, then I would accomplish awe-inspiring feats in the future. TECHS really gave me the confidence to exceed expectations, reach for the stars and persevere past the self-doubt I had.

I credit the STEM program at TECHS for helping me gain a passion for speech language pathology and the medical field as a whole. It helped me gain many connections in the field that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I volunteered in three clinical departments, obtained 72 observation hours at ProMedica, and also secured an youth internship at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. I want to be a speech language pathologist, and work with children in a hospital setting or an outpatient rehab facility. I knew that the hard work I put in as a high school student would help me professionally as a speech language pathology major and graduate.

As the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, who escaped the ruthless wars and poverty that ravaged their homeland, I am the first in my family to attend college and I am extremely proud of that accomplishment.  Navigating through the rigorous curriculum at Toledo Early College wasn’t easy, but it was worth it and I’m so excited to see what God has in store for me in the future.