Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

My collective experiences as a Pakistani Muslim woman and a first-generation student from a low-income community directly influence my professional practice and leadership. My salient identities and my professional experience have led me to become a student-focused professional with the commitment to support students through advocacy, authenticity, empathy, and justice.
Reflecting on my own journey and barriers I faced while navigating an institution that was not built for me has given me the passion to work in higher education and advocate for students, specifically marginalized students; to help students feel empowered and feel that they are bringing strengths, experiences, and value to their college environment. It is my role as a student affairs practitioner to continue to breakdown systemic barriers that impacted me as a student and that continue to impact our students every day. My leadership opportunities have taught me about advocacy, intersectionality, and the importance of using my voice to challenge systems of oppression. I hope to use these experiences to level the playing field for underprivileged, minority, and other disadvantaged groups using my social justice lens, empathy, and authenticity. I have the responsibility to provide support to students who do not have the same resources as others, who do not have the same privileges as others and dedicate myself to a lifelong of learning. I am pursuing this graduate degree to ensure students are supported, empowered, and have someone that believes in them. I also owe it to my younger self to ensure no student feels alone in this journey the way I did.

Tasmia from Washington
Seattle University