A recent CUNY BA graduate whose home campus was Hunter has launched a scholarship for Pakistani Americans college students — and one of the first three recipients attends Hunter.
Muhammad Deen ’23 created the Shazia Khan Scholarship — named for his mom — with the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee Foundation, with the goal of helping needy CUNY or SUNY students. The foundation recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to three CUNY students — including Rida Akhlaq, a Hunter senior majoring in Biology; Sajjad Askary, a Baruch College junior majoring in Actuarial Science, and Adnaan Elahi, a Baruch sophomore majoring in Political Science and Economics.
The scholarships, for which Deen has raised more than $2,000 since 2021, “fulfilled a dream of mine,” said Deen, a Politics and Business Strategy major who worked for the Office of the NYC Comptroller while at Hunter and helped build one of the city’s largest youth-led organizations, Teens Take Charge.
“As a low-income student who was fortunate to have had programs that helped me attend college, I felt the need to create more resources to address disparities for students from working-class backgrounds,” Deen said.
Helping others is natural for Deen. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams named Deen one of six Community Heros of New York in 2020 for Deen’s nonprofit work fighting educational inequality in the public school system.
The highly competitive scholarships, for which more than 55 students applied, were awarded at the 2023 APPAC Youth Conference in July. The ceremony was attended by luminaries including District Court Judge Zahid Quereshi of New Jersey, the first Muslim in the federal judiciary; Hirah Mir, chief diversity officer of the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, and State Senator Saud Anwar (D-CT).