Meet Aisha Sheikh (COM '21) – An Adventurous Virgo and Aspiring Filmmaker

Aisha Sheikh is a sophomore at Boston University pursuing a degree in Film and Television through the College of Communication with a Religion minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Born in Hong Kong, traveling the world through her childhood, and residing in a suburb of Houston, Texas for high school, she is a worldly and creative Virgo with big plans ahead of her in the film industry. 

Aisha ultimately chose to attend BU because of its fantastic atmosphere and top film program. Her family travels quite often and has for years. While growing up, Aisha experienced many cultures and knew she wanted to continue traveling and learning about others in her higher education. BU offered her a different scenery with different social and political climates that she had become accustomed to in Houston. “I wanted to experience how people lived up north and experience Boston as the amazing diverse city it is.”

As a freshman, Aisha was accepted into the College of General Studies’ Boston-London Program, where students have a gap semester in the fall, come to BU in the spring, and attend a 6-week study abroad program in London during the summer. Aisha’s experience in London was extremely fun because she has family who lives there – “I was able to go back and see my family while also studying, so that was pretty cool!”

Though her study abroad opportunity so early on in her college education was a fun time, it was what she chose to do with the gap semester that really impacted her. Before coming to BU, in the spring of 2018, she spent 3 months volunteering in Africa. During her first month, she volunteered in Morocco at an orphanage for children with mental and physical disabilities. She found this month exceptionally rewarding because she was able to practice her Arabic and became even closer to her religion and heritage. Her second month was spent in a maternity ward in Ghana where she helped deliver children. Then her final month was spent in Tanzania where she volunteered in a pre-school. She never excepted herself to enjoy teaching (or kids for that matter) as much as she did during that experience. “It was an insane experience and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to volunteer overseas.”

She has striven to make her time here at BU just as meaningful as her time overseas by participating in ample amounts of community service and leadership positions around campus. Through the Community Service Center, Aisha has partaken in FYSOP as a Staff Leader and was an Alternative Service Break Coordinator for a trip to North Carolina this past spring break.

As a FYSOP Staff Leader, Aisha was able to participate in community service around Boston while building new relationships with the community and with first-year students. “I really love the program. I have been a Girl Scout my entire life and receive the Gold Award which is the highest honor to receive as a girl scout, and I believe FYSOP allows me to continue volunteering in my community and making a difference.”

The Community Service Center (CSC) also hosts multiple options for students to participate in alternative service breaks where groups of BU students travel around the country to volunteer. Aisha knew she wanted to do something meaningful and service related for her sophomore spring break, but also wanted to become more involved in the CSC as a leader, so she applied to coordinate one of the trips. She wound up coordinating a trip with another BU student to Louisburg, NC and had about 10 students join. For the week, they volunteered in a middle school where they made connections with the students, teachers, and community. “Not only did I love tutoring, talking, and bonding with the children, I also loved the people I went down with. We created a mural for the school that we worked on during the later portion of the week, where the BU students were able to work together to create a piece of art that impacted the school in a beautiful way.” The mural was painted around the concession stand near the gym, and as they were painting, students were excited to see their concession stand actually stand out rather than just be a white wall where snacks were sold. “Everyone was really happy with the way it came out, the mark it left, and the atmosphere it created.”

The CSC has become a big part of Aisha’s past time as a BU student, but she is also an active member of BU’s Sigma Kappa Sorority Chapter. “SK has opened up so many doors to leadership opportunities and friendships I can’t find anywhere else!” Aisha has found an exceptionally strong rooted group of friends who she will have for a lifetime. “I know it sounds cheesy, but these girls have been there for me during my highest highs and lowest lows, I’m not sure what BU would be like without my second home in SK.” Currently, Aisha is the Vice President of Philanthropic Programming for Panhel, monitoring and overseeing all the philanthropy events for the sorority chapters at BU.

Over the summer, Aisha will be working at Skydance Media, a production company in Santa Monica, CA, as a film development and script editor. “I’m just really excited to be there this summer. I’m practically speechless and so thankful for the opportunity!” As an aspiring filmmaker, Aisha cannot wait for the hands-on-experience that this summer will give her. Then, in the next school year, she is excited to begin taking religion courses and hopes to study abroad during the spring semester in Sydney, Australia.

Her advice to students entering college is as follows: “Keep an open mind. I’m not going to lie, it can be very difficult adjusting into such a new setting. I even found it hard to switch my wardrobe so that I fit in more, but once you settle in you realize how great of an experience the next four years will be. Just keep an open mind and everything will get better. It’ll be hard being away from home, your friends, and what you know, but you get to meet so many different people in such a new atmosphere, especially at a place like BU with so much diversity."

"Coming to a big school is about diving in and opening up because opportunities are everywhere if you put the work in and go find them,” said Aisha. 

 

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