• Saadia Qadeer
  • Senior, Cross Keys High School
Saadia Qadeer

For Senior Saadia Qadeer, there are hardly enough hours in the day. As class president and avid member of three community service clubs, Saadia is most passionate about helping others.

Qadeer and her family immigrated to the United States when she was just 8 years old. Surrounded by unfamiliar faces and knowing scarcely a word of English, she was terrified.

“Adjusting in a different country was very difficult for me in many ways,” said Qadeer, a native of Pakistan. “My English was very weak. I felt very different and apart from people.”

Qadeer’s feelings of loneliness and confusion faded after she began attending Montclair Elementary School. She took pride in her school’s ethnic diversity, with students from over 65 different countries and over 75 languages spoken. As Qadeer continued her education at Sequoyah Middle School and eventually, Cross Keys High School, she became increasingly more comfortable with her background.

“I went from being a very shy, quiet person to an outspoken person,” Qadeer said. “I am proud to attend Cross Keys High School and meet people from around the world.”

By her senior year, Qadeer had gained enough recognition and confidence to run for her school’s senior class president.

“I wanted to get out of my shell and show people what I can do and that I can make a good leader,” Qadeer said. “Many of my classmates have seen what I have done for my class and that’s the reason they voted for me, they had proof.”

When Qadeer is not serving her school as class president, she is involved with community service clubs, including Beta Club, Interact Club, and DeKalb Youth Commissions. She especially takes pride in her role as historian for Interact Club.

“A historian basically designs and organizes the scrapbook,” Qadeer said. “I love making a scrapbook and many of my classmates would like me to do it.”

Through service clubs, Qadeer has become involved in over seven causes, including Pennies for Peace, Jeans for Teens, and Heifer International.

Although Qadeer was already involved with the three service clubs, she reserved time to raise awareness and funds for flood relief in her home country of Pakistan.

“Many people are not familiar or have never heard of this issue and I want to bring it out there, and let people know how they can help make a difference,” Qadeer said.

Despite devoting most of her time to these causes, Qadeer said she never loses focus on her academics. Her favorite subject is science because it “connects to my career choice” in the medical field.

Aside from academics and community service, Qadeer enjoys reading and learning French.

What’s Next:

After Qadeer graduates in May 2011, she plans to attend Georgia Perimeter College for two years before transferring to either Georgia State University or Emory University, where she will major in Pre-Medicine.

Qadeer intends on completing medical school and becoming a pediatrician because she “loves children and would enjoy working with them.”

Qadeer also intends to use her medical training by aiding third-world countries in desperate need of health care.

–Abby Kron