PATERSON, NJ – Another Paterson high school student is heading to the Ivy League, Superintendent Eileen Shafer announced Wednesday.
Iffat Aniqa, a senior in the School of Education and Training (SET) at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex, has been accepted at Yale University and will begin studying at theNew Haven, Connecticut university in the fall.
“Iffat worked hard to achieve this great opportunity, and she had the support of her parents who have worked incredibly hard to provide for her and her brother and sister,” Shafer said in offer her congratulations to the student. “I congratulate them and I want to thank Iffat’s teachers and administrators who worked to draw out the best of her abilities. We all look forward to Iffat’s success at Yale.”
Aniqa said she received word of her acceptance Tuesday. Currently, she is considering a major in evolutionary biology. “I’m really interested in people and life and its complexities,” said Aniqa, adding that she is particularly interested in a career in genetics. “I would love to work in research, but whatever I do I would like to positively impact the world in some way.”
Captain of her high school’s robotics team, Aniqa has also been president of the Full Service Community Schools Student Ambassador Program at her high school. She also continues to be involved in community service endeavors through the Paterson Youth Council and the New Jersey Help Center.
Her father, Abdus Miah, first came to the United States from Bangladesh in the 1980s, she said. About 10 years later, he married Fatema Begum and they came to Paterson with their son. Aniqa was born in the United States. In addition to her older brother, she has a younger sister who currently attends the Don Bosco Technology Academy.
When asked if there was anything about her upbringing that helped her achieve academic success, Aniqa said, “I think my parents made it their mission to give me a comfortable life despite financial difficulties.” Aniqa’s mother is a homemaker while her father, who earned a degree in education before coming to the United States, works at a Dunkin’ Donuts location in Wayne.
“My dad works all day every single day,” she said. “I almost never see him relax.”
Aniqa is looking forward to beginning her studies at Yale in the fall. She said she loves the beautiful campus, incredible libraries, and said that the university was distinct from other colleges in that there is no “toxic competitive environment among the students.
Aniqa was willing to share some advice to Paterson Public Schools students who want to follow in her footsteps.
“Work hard and pursue things that you actually want to pursue in high school,” she said. “And put effort into your application.”
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