by Emily Vontom, Published November 12, 2012
Eastern Michigan University freshman Shahana Ahmed, 17, is having the time of her life at college.
Ahmed, of Warren, Mich., is majoring in biology and chemistry to pursue her goal of becoming an optometrist. She is also one of 16 Presidential Scholars at the University this year.
The Presidential Scholarship, is an elite four-year award that pays 30 hours of in-state tuition, housing food allowance and mandatory fees.
"I am grateful for the opportunity given to me and can't wait for what Eastern has to offer," Ahmed said. "Everyone is eager to help and there is just something about Eastern that gives a student an air of hope and a promise that, through Eastern, they will go far."
Ahmed spends most of her time studying, but she is also a henna tattoo artist and sings. She hopes to become a New Student Orientation Assistant and join both the pre-med and Muslim clubs as she becomes more adjusted to college life. But, the highlight of her year at Eastern has been all of her new friends, she says.
"I have made crazy friends this year," said Ahmed. "In all my years, I have never laughed so hard and enjoyed school. Even though my classes challenge me, my new friends and the discovery of more friends keeps life on its toes. I can honestly say that some days when I wake up, anything can happen."
Presidential Scholars are selected during Eastern's annual Presidential Scholarship Competition in December. Awards are based on a competitive exam. To compete, high school seniors must have either a 3.7 GPA, with a minimum of a 25 ACT or 1,150 SAT score. Each scholarship winner must also complete a successful interview.