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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Senior Commitment: Asma Patel is off to MIT!

Asma’s commitment announcement on the Niles West decisions Instagram, @nwdecisions24

Senior Asma Patel has been accepted into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) class of 2028, joining a group of exceptional students and leaders attending one of the top educational institutions in the US.  With a bright future ahead of her, she decided to major in Aerospace Engineering to support her interests in STEM.  It’s not every day that someone gets into MIT, which boasts a 4% acceptance rate, and the feeling of being accepted after years of hard work is one that Patel will never forget.

“I was really shocked because I opened the acceptance a lot later than everyone else did because I wanted to wait, and so I totally wasn’t expecting to get in.  I was with my friends when I opened it and it was just happy seeing all of the effort and hard work I put in manifesting itself into this crazy acceptance,” Patel said.

Her friends are also very proud of her for her achievements and admire her for the person she is.  Junior Sana Jafri, a fellow Muslim Student Association (MSA) board member with Patel, remembers being really happy for her when she found out about her acceptance.

“She’s so talented, so smart and someone to really look up to. I’m also an MSA board member so [I was] getting to know her, and seeing how hard she works, I can say that I’m so proud of her,” Jafri said.

Throughout her time at West, Patel has been an involved leader and a star student. She is a National Merit Semifinalist, an honor for exceptional scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) given to less than 1% of seniors in the nation.  She is also a board member of the MSA, where she helps run community activities to bring the Muslim community at Niles West together.

“We have some educational days where we have speakers come in.  Usually, it’s fun and chill activities and a space for people to hang out and pray after school,” Patel said.

Patel left a lasting impression on many of the people she knew, including her MSA sponsors.

“She just has leadership spilling out of her. Asma commands respect, not by asking for it or demanding it, but everything she does, she does so well and does with such integrity that people just respect her everywhere she goes,” co-sponsor of MSA Daniel Kosiba said.

She is also the president of the National Honor Society (NHS), where she works on bettering the community through community service.  Membership for the society is based on grades, character and extracurriculars.

Patel has been an avid competitor in Math and Science, competing on the Math team for three years and in Science Olympiad.  She qualified as a regional champion at the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) Competition earlier this year.  These activities highlight Patel’s passion for the STEM field, particularly math, physics and engineering.  Her decision to major in Aerospace Engineering was because the field was a combination of those three things.

One of Patel’s strategies for success is time management.  She likes to make work and study schedules and strives to be consistent and put her best effort into everything she does.  For students not yet applying to college, she recommends starting early and developing a theme with the activities they choose.

“Don’t put things off.  You should start researching, start looking for scholarships [and] start looking for programs that interest you just so you don’t get totally overwhelmed when the time actually comes to start applying,” Patel said.

When the time came to lock in on her future, Patel knew what she had to do to achieve her goals.

“I would suggest making a portfolio or making a list of things that you’re proud of, achievements, things that you can talk about for your essays.  Maybe start junior year.  Especially when you’re choosing activities and classes in high school, don’t just choose random things because they’re fun.  Obviously, have fun, but also keep your future in mind,” Patel said.

As Patel prepares to leave Niles West for college, she will fondly remember all the memories and friendships she made here.

“I’m definitely just going to miss the people.  I obviously met a lot of my closest friends here and I’m going to miss being able to see people in the hallways and say hi and text my friends whenever I want because I know they’re in a different part of the school,” Patel said.

At MIT, she looks towards the opposite, aiming to expand her circle.

“[I’m looking forward to] meeting new people, expanding my connections, meeting people who have similar interests as me, and just putting myself into the world and showing what I have to offer and hopefully becoming successful off of that,” Patel said.

In the future, Patel wants to work on sustainable aircraft to save our planet from harmful CO2 emissions released by our current airplanes.

“I definitely want to work on aircrafts in the future and sort of moving the aerospace industry towards more sustainability.  A personal goal of mine is working on efficient solar airplanes and sort of making that something that’s not rare anymore.  Like bringing that into the industry and helping global warming because our planet’s kinda dying,” Patel said.

Congratulations Asma on your commitment to MIT!

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  • A

    AmbalalApr 9, 2024 at 9:09 AM

    We are very happy and proud for your achievements and hoping all the best & good luck. JaiSiyaRam ????

  • S

    Samina HussainApr 8, 2024 at 5:03 PM

    Congratulations, Asma!!