Service, Support, and Study

Nawal Mirza
February 22, 2018

Nawal Shakil Mirza finds a home in the UMD honors program

"We've become a close-knit family,"

Stray, lost and abandoned puppies are heard barking throughout the Animal Allies Humane Society building. Cats and kittens nestle together, peering around corners at visitors. Nawal Mirza has visited these animals often, offering all the love, care, and comfort she can.

“I never thought I’d be where I am now,” says Nawal. “I’ve seen so many new places since I was accepted into the Honors Program.” One week she takes a furry friend for a walk; the next week she walks along roadsides in the Adopt a Highway program. She has joined fellow honors students to serve meals in a soup kitchen and was part of a big effort to move people who are homeless into the Steve O'Neill Apartments. She welcomes all opportunities as she fulfills her 45-hour honors community/civic engagement commitment.

Nawal is used to volunteering. Back home in Pakistan she did a lot of it. She taught English to underprivileged children. In her high school, she organized volunteer events including a tree planting effort, a food drive, and helped set up several free medical clinics. She also made weekly school visits to interact with children with special needs.

Throughout Nawal's entire time in high school, she followed the UMD Honors Program. Nawal's sister, Madiha, who was an honors student before her, sent photos, videos, and emails about life in Minnesota. By the time Nawal arrived at Welcome Week she was already part of the program. Read More