February Empowers Her

This week, I had the honor to interview Asada Sharif who is a junior at La Salle University dual majoring in Criminal Justice and Sociology and minoring in Political Science. Earlier last semester, Asada’s eyelash extension business Lash’d Out was featured in an article written by Ariadne Cortez.

 I was aware of Asada’s successful business before I interviewed her, but for this weekly profile, I wanted to focus more on her goals and aspirations. Asada lived in Newark, New Jersey until she was eleven years old and then she moved to a suburb in Lumberton, New Jersey. She attended a technical high school where she studied Criminal Law all four years and was also the captain of the school’s cheerleading team. Before interviewing Asada, I wrote out a list of questions I intended to ask her.

One of the questions was, “What is your major and why did you choose this specific field?” Asada is not your ‘typical’ college student who often has no idea what they want to do with their life. She had goals mapped out prior to stepping foot on La Salle’s campus, and she is determined to achieve them.

Then we talked about her role models in life and where her motivation and determination stems from. Asada claims that her mother is her biggest role model in life and said, “She has instilled drive and motivation in me” and has always said to ‘Have a hustle mindset’ and to always remember that ‘A woman can do things for herself’. One main reason why Asada says she takes schoolwork and her education so seriously is because her mom was very strict about her grades growing up and this made her scared to fail in a way. Both her mom and her stepdad are police officers and I questioned her to see if their professions might have played a role in her interest in law. She said that having multiple family members doing this type of work did have some type of impact on her decision to study this topic.

Asada plans on attending law school at either Howard University or Georgetown University right after graduating from La Salle next year. She wants to study law in Washington D.C. specifically so she can be ‘close to the President’ and stay in a city setting. Her end goal is to become a senator or a District Attorney. Asada is currently shadowing three different paralegals in downtown Philadelphia at a District Attorney office. Some of her duties include redacting medical files, watching videos of crimes, listening to prison calls, going to trial court, and much more.

 Along with having an extremely prestigious internship downtown, Asada is involved in a variety of clubs on campus. She is a Resident Assistant in St. Basil Court, serves on the Executive Board as a Programmer for our Resident Student Association, and is the Historian for the Black Cultural Society (BCS).

In both organizations, Asada is in charge of planning different programs for students to engage in on campus. BCS often chooses to collaborate with another organization on campus known as the African American Student League (AASL) for some of their events.

Then, we started talking about some of the events that will be taking place in the next few weeks for Black History Month. This led me into my next question, “What does this month mean to you?” Asada said that she had been asked this question many times, but she continued to answer and say, “It is a time to remember the people who fought so hard and so long for equal rights and integration in this country.” The struggles that many faced is yet another reason why Asada is so motivated every day to achieve the goals that she has set for herself. The conversation continued and Asada shared an excerpt with me that she wrote last year that explains what being a black woman means to her. It says,

A Black Girl’s MAGIC is everything. It is apart of her, it is her beauty, her melanin, her dopeness, her strength, and resilience, her magic is authentic and natural and it is her trophy. But most of all it is her power! When a black girl walks in a room, she is feared because everyone watching her wants some of the MAGIC just like her. So why wouldn’t I protect it at any cost?”

 

Asada emphasized that she is very proud to be a Black Woman but that it ultimately does not matter what race you are because she believes that we should all be focusing on uniting as one. I think that we all need to not only hear this message more often but embrace it with open arms. I know that Asada will not only accomplish her goals but thrive while doing it. Her motivation strong-will, and determination is a force to be reckoned with.