Saeed Ahmad: From Community College to Harvard Law
The American Dream has long been the signature of our country, where we are meant to believe that one can accomplish whatever goal or dream, they set their mind to. These opportunities come from our founding principles, our core values that have held us together for years. Saeed Ahmad acknowledges these affirmations and says they are relevant cues that govern every life experience he goes through as a Pakistani-American in this country.
For Saeed Ahmad, the American Dream is to be able to follow your personal calling. At first, this was an impossible thing to understand or do until he was immersed into the education system. He remembers times in high school when his peers and teachers would direct disparaging remarks towards him when he stated he would be attending the local community college instead of going directly into a 4-year university. The stigma he felt from fellow students was almost enough to demotivate him and halt his quest for success. However, this only led Ahmad to work harder than anyone else and stand out as the intelligent young man he was. He shook hands and made a bet with two close friends right before he left for community college, stating that the only issues he would be having is choosing between UCLA and Berkeley for undergrad.
Saeed went on to enroll at Norco College, where he met amazing faculty and administrators who believed in his abilities. It was in this institution that he understood the power of mentorship in tuning and shaping the mind of anyone. His mentors taught him how to leverage genuine relationships and develop skills that would forge a career in any professional field. In addition, Ahmad interacted with students who shared their perspectives about diversity and inclusion and pondered solutions for a more equitable future. Saeed was gradually becoming more informed, inspired and determined to make a change. He wanted to be a role model for CC transfer students nationwide! Norco College imparted him with the idea of pursuing a career in law- perhaps this was his calling all along.
He eventually transferred to UCLA, where he immediately noticed a lack of innovation in several of the notable pre-law organizations. Saeed had several ideas that he thought would revitalize the pre-law community. However, he received rejection after rejection when he applied for board positions at these student organizations- it almost seemed like they did not value the input of a transfer student. It was these series of events that eventually led him to revitalize the Pre-Law Transfer Society at UCLA, with the intention of showcasing what transfers were capable of. In less than a year, this organization went from empty rooms to filling out classrooms and auditoriums across campus. The secret? By focusing on the ideals of diversity and inclusion, the organization ventured to influence students from underrepresented racial and social groups to enter the legal profession and facilitate positive change. By focusing on the intersection between law and entrepreneurship, Ahmad was able to organize events that were both entertaining and appealed to a broader campus niche.
After graduating from UCLA in June 2020, Ahmad submitted his law school applications during September of the same year. In the ensuing gap year, he has been working as a Client Advisor at the Louis Vuitton store on Rodeo Drive, anxiously awaiting law school decisions as the months passed by.
And now, at the age of 21, he has been accepted to study at Harvard Law. Is this his American Dream? Saeed Ahmad believes so and wants to do the best he can to continue pursuing his ambitions. The sky’s the limit, and we look forward to seeing what is in store over the next few years!