When she read the text from her father, Amina couldn’t control her tears. The Alief ISD senior was overwhelmed and overjoyed. Her father had opened a letter notifying her that she had been accepted into Yale.
Amina Mabizari has defied the odds. Her great grandfather fought and died in the Algerian Revolutionary War. Her grandfather managed to earn a scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin and migrate his family to America. Now Amina has achieved an opportunity most only dream about, having earned acceptance into seven out of eight ivy league universities. First came Yale, then Princeton, then Columbia, and still others from Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Amina didn’t always excel in school. When Amina was little, she struggled to learn her English letters and read. Her mother only spoke broken English at the time, but worked hard alongside her daughter to ensure that her child thrived.
Their hard work paid off quickly. Just a year later, Amina was listed among the “gifted and talented,” and she continued to flourish in her studies. By her high school years, she oversaw 1,300 schools across Texas as the state president of the Texas Association of Student Councils. She currently sits on Superintendent H.D. Chambers’ Alief ISD advisory council, and only recently resigned her role as Elsik High School‘s National Honor Society president.
Now, she’s going to Yale!
According to Houston Chronicle, Shelby Webb:
Amina only started on her college applications during winter break, spending the first week and a half perfecting her personal essay. She wrote about her parents’ hands – how her father’s had worked to scratch out a living for his family in Algeria after his grandfather was killed in that country’s Revolutionary War, and how his father ultimately clutched a scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin.
She wrote of how her mother held books written in an unfamiliar language, practically willing her daughter to read. Amina wrote about her own hands, how they’d leaned on podiums in front of hundreds and how she hoped to use them to help others.
She aspires to get into politics, a departure from her three older siblings, all of whom are on track to become doctors. Amina dreams of perhaps attending law school and becoming a senator. But whatever she ends up doing, Amina said, she’ll always be grateful for the resources and help she’s gotten in Alief ISD. She said other students should never underestimate their ability to achieve.