With all that has been going on, this is definitely the good news we’ve been looking for!
Mohamed Aqil Azmi and Zad Chin Qi Qi have made the country proud by securing a coveted place at the prestigious Harvard University in Massachusetts, US.
Photo: Malay Mail
According to the Malay Mail, a total of 40,428 students applied for the university’s class of 2024 but only 1,980 successfully made the cut, including Aqil and Chin. They will be the first Malaysians to be accepted into the Ivy League institution since 2017, which as of this year only holds less than 10 Malaysian Harvard alumni.
Aqil, who hails from Shah Alam, completed his secondary education at Sekolah Agama Menengah Tinggi Tengku Ampuan Jemaah while Chin, who is from Ipoh, is an alumnus of SMJK Ave Maria Convent. They are currently pursuing their A-Levels at Kolej Yayasan UEM (KYUEM) in Lembah Beringin, Selangor, and are recipients of scholarships from Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Yayasan Khazanah respectively.
When contacted by the Malay Mail, Chin relived the moment she received the good news.
“I remember I was in the car going to get breakfast at that time and I was too scared to check it, so I asked my sister to help me.”
“At first, my sister tried to prank me by telling me I got rejected until I read the letter and found out I actually got accepted! We were all shouting in the car!” said Chin, who plans to major in computer science and social studies.
Aqil was equally overjoyed and shared on Twitter how the same moment went down for him.
“It’s been five months since I got the offer but that moment at 8 am on a Friday when I sujud syukur and cried after checking my email still sticks in my mind as one of the most surreal moments of my life,” he wrote in a Twitter post.
The duo will be joining other students at the ivy league university as soon as the new academic year begins in September 2020.
Chin hopes that her achievement can inspire other Malaysians to chase their dreams.
“Coming from a low-income family, people always have the impression that Harvard and the Ivy League are only for the rich kids and it’s impossible for us to get in.”
“I just want to say, don’t ever let where you come from define where you are going to end up.”
“It’s your life and if Harvard is your dream, work hard and go for it! It’s hard to get in, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.”
Their achievements were first highlighted by Harvard Club of Malaysia member and Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara chief executive officer Nadiah Wan who shared the good news in hopes that it serves as an inspiration to many young Malaysians.
She told the Malay Mail that she was thoroughly impressed by Chin and Aqil after meeting them in person.
“Aqil and Chin impressed us very much during the interview session with their intellectual curiosity, maturity, drive, and desire to make an impact in society.”
“We believe that not only will they benefit tremendously from the opportunities available to them at Harvard, they will also be significant contributors to the Harvard community,” she said in a press release.
Well done Aqil and Chin, you definitely made us Malaysians proud!
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya