Sarah Khan is a recipient of a Fellowship from the Marcy Migdal Fund for Educational Equality. The award supports exceptional students engaged in activities aimed at enhancing access to education for vulnerable students, either locally or throughout the world, and helping them succeed in their education. Click here to learn more about the Marcy Migdal Fund.
Sarah Khan is a rising junior, studying Computer Science and Education, Communities, and Organizations. As a privileged Pakistani-American who can pursue an education in the United States, while many of her female ancestors, including her grandmothers and aunts, did not receive such opportunity within their own country, Sarah strives to change the narrative for Pakistani women like them. Sarah aims to humanize the statistics of low literacy and educational attainment rates by sharing Pakistani women’s experiences with education. She seeks to challenge the apathy around these statistics and help affected women reclaim their right to their own narratives when discussing these issues.
This mission has led her to build an organization and digital platform called Afsana, a Persian-derived Urdu word that means “story.” Afsana is focused on highlighting women’s stories with education and their identities in Pakistan. Amplifying the voices of women in sharing their narratives of personal experiences of systemic, social, and cultural barriers in their education, Afsana hopes to showcase the strength of these women, empower them on their journeys, and generate empathy from audiences in Pakistan and America. Afsana hopes to also center the strength of the communities supporting these women. Afsana works towards this goal by partnering with existing non-profits in Pakistan in multiple ways, including launching fundraisers to support young girls to attend schools, gathering stories of individuals who are impacted by their work, and creating events for Afsana to learn from these students.
The Marcy Migdal Fellowship funds will support Afsana and its long-term vision. The stories on Afsana build understanding around the need for educational opportunities for women across Pakistan. This understanding can be transformed into bringing funds that would help struggling women access education. The Marcy Migdal Fellowship funds will provide a starting point for Afsana in this work. To read more about Afsana and their work, visit their website at afsanapk.org