"We need to provide more background checks and have a regulation in which individuals interested in owning a gun must prove their knowledge in handling it" debated 18 year old Safoora Siddiqui, President of Chester County Intermediate Unit Student Forum, an organization that allows students from all over the country to hold political debates and discussions .Astute and eclectic, Safoora was an intern at Senator Andrew E. Dinniman's office in District 19 at West Chester, PA. After the Parkland, Florida shooting, Safoora participated in the forum regarding gun control and school safety, held by Senator Dinniman himself. It was through Chester County Intermediate Unit's Student Forum that she became interested in politics and met Senator Dinniman who offered her an internship at his office.
Safoora and her peer Mina Bourquin planned a student walkout against gun violence to increase awareness of school safety and education. An advocate of gun control, Safoora herself led this walk. Growing up, she was always ready for debates, public-speaking and politics, and never shied away from voicing her opinions or standing in support of laws and initiatives that benefit the people.
Coming fresh out of high school, this internship served as a conduit to help emphasize her interests at University level.
InternshipSafoora’s day to day schedule consisted of researching and writing memorandums, making phones calls, assisting colleagues and going over notes of the previous day. Being exposed to an office environment, she became well acquainted with office amenities, networking and research. The fact that Safoora’s colleagues were West Chester University alumni made this experience even more personal - she received practical advice that helped shape her goals, and eventually decide what academic and professional areas she wanted to explore for the next four years.
While still an intern, Safoora was given the opportunity to get involved with Mariner East pipeline and animal legislation which gave her a better understanding of state-level concerns and local politics.
Passionate and gutsy, our young achiever is currently a political science major and law minor at West Chester University. She aspires to be a successful lawyer and would like to empower and act for people of her community. She plans to do this by representing clients that struggle with understanding legislation, and those who face discrimination based on their religion. Safoora also wants to help individuals who struggle to adapt to a competitive society. She plans to gain relevant experience before attempting LSATs and applying to a law school.
CommunitySafoora plays an active role in serving the community by extending a helping hand and engaging in healthy dialogue during gatherings and events. She reveals,
"My community has only shown an immense amount of support and love, as well as encouragement with my aspirations. Throughout my involvement with Masjid Ar-Rahman, I've met several inspiring figures that have helped and shaped me into the tenacious individual that I've become today."
She started being a part of Masjid Ar-Rahman community in middle school and believes it has had a positive impact. It instilled confidence in her as a young believer, and helped her strategize, network and gear towards her goals as a Muslim woman.
God-fearing and focused, Safoora aims to help Muslims not just in America, but around the world; and yearns to please her parents and above all, God.
HijabI didn't think that my hijab made me feel frightened to enter the workforce, but I did feel a bit out of place. By joining the legal field, I want to change that perspective noted Safoora.
Safoora started practicing Hijab in middle school. She expresses,
"I started wearing the hijab at a young age yet to this day those questions of whether I look presentable, professional, and pretty still come to mind."
However, she also believes the practice of Hijab has matured the respect she has for Allah. It made her stronger inside out and helped her focus on the bigger picture - obedience to the Creator. It has empowered and helped her stand out of the crowd, especially in homogenous settings in the workforce.
We feel extremely honored to have Safoora as a part of our community and are confident she will continue to be a good example for the Ummah on the personal and professional front.
Safoora is the proud daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rehan Siddiqui. She lives with her parents, two sisters, a brother and a cat in Thorndale, PA.
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