Gifted Student Knows How to Give Back
Sarah Khan will graduate on Monday and head to Emory. She was inspired by the volunteer work of her father with local immigrants and in their native Pakistan.
Meadowcreek student Sarah Khan is quiet and introspective. But when she speaks about her journey to graduation she does it with great conviction and clarity.
Khan will be a few weeks shy of her 17th birthday when she walks across the Gwinnett Arena stage on Monday as one of the top ten in the class. Her parents hail from Pakistan—and she says they have motivated her to get all A’s and score near-perfect on her SAT and ACT. They’ve also taught her first-hand the importance of giving back to people in need in her home country.
Khan’s counselor described her as “an extraordinary… academically talented and gifted person.” She took a total of seven Advanced Placement classes at Meadowcreek, five one semester and four another semester, all while taking World History and Arabic for college credit at Georgia Perimeter. “People think of me as a nerd,” she laughed. “I’m always focusing on my studies.”
She said a few years ago she would’ve definitely said her major would be Pre-Med—“My parents always wanted me to be a doctor”—but that in the last few years she has become engrossed in her computer classes.
Khan will attend Emory University in the fall, where she’ll receive $41,000 in scholarship and grant money per year. “I’m mostly excited for the the clubs and activities,” she said. “I heard there’s a system for gong to visit animal shelters on the weekend.”
It was her father who instilled in her the importance of volunteering. She says he first began his work by helping recent immigrants informally around the neighborhood with food and clothes. The charity, HOPE, progressed over the years.
After the Karachi disaster, he began stockpiling medicine and supplies to send back to her native Pakistan. “He helped to organize doctors since he has a lot of connections,” Khan said.
And she put her computer skills to work for her dad’s cause, too, sending out email blasts and doing ads for GIVE. She travels to Pakistan in the summers—something she loves because of the cheap, beautiful clothes, among other things—so she got to see the result of their hard work first-hand recently.
Khan said she’s happy that she speaks two languages. Sometimes the family slips into an Urdu-English mix, except when grandma is around. She hopes it will give her an advantage in a global economy.
Not that she’ll need it.
Editor's note: Meadowcreek graduation will take place on Monday, Memorial Day, at noon.