Queens high school senior Jahin Rahman’s dedication and achievements in leadership, service and action helped him earn the respected Coca-Cola Scholarship.
The Coca-Cola Scholars foundation invests in the future leaders in America. For 32 years, Coca-Cola has awarded high school students $20,000 for the positive impacts their leadership has had on others.
Rahman was one of 150 students selected for this distinguished award and will join a network of more than 6,450 alumni who are leading positive change in their communities and internationally.
When Rahman was a freshman at the Academy of American Studies, she started a nonprofit called Efforts in Youth Development in Bangladesh (EYDB).
“I wanted to do something to give back to the community where I came from,” Rahman said. “Back in Bangladesh, I saw there were a lot of street children who’d often be on the road bleeding and crying. They did not have education or parents and it was like really grievous conditions so I wanted to do something to help that out.”
EYDB started off small — it was initially a school club with only five or six members from the student body. Together, Rahman and the club members would raise money through New York City’s MTA system in order to finance small projects.
Today, the club has grown and expanded to schools across the nation, with 500 volunteers helping to support the nonprofit.
“Through my nonprofit I help build libraries, literacy programs and drug rehabilitation centers,” Rahman said.
But when it comes to the involvement of students, one of EYDB’s main focuses is to gather these high school volunteers together to make educational materials, games and other kinds of stuff for the children back in Bangladesh.
During COVID-19, Rahman gathered volunteers together virtually in order to help hold workshops for different high schools in the United States. In these workshops, Rahman would discuss what young people can do during the pandemic to help other communities while staying safe in their homes. Examples included starting online service projects, campaigns, etc.
Other than EYDB, Rahman has involved himself in a plethora of other projects including being part of a research team for Pioneer Academics Academics where she researched the impact that microfinance was having on female entrepreneurship and business success in rural areas of Lagos, Nigeria. This research went on to be published.
“I have also helped establish the Department of Education’s activism coalition as well as having a journalism association. So I’ve really tried to get myself involved in the community,” Rahman said.
By starting the youth activism coalition through New York City’s Department of Education, Rahman wishes to unite youth activists around the city to come together to do work in New York based on the shared identity of youth activism. Further, the coalition will address different challenges students are facing right now such as remote learning.
In the fall, Rahman will be studying economics and international relations at the University of Pennsylvania.