High school hero: Cardozo student wins scholarship for bringing beauty and smiles to Queens seniors

Nusrat Jahan accepting the Glammy Scholarship Award
Photo courtesy of GlamourGals Foundation Inc.

A local high school student has brought smiles to the faces of seniors with cards, makeovers and karaoke.

Nusrat Jahan, who attends Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, recently earned a scholarship for her dedicated volunteer work at a nearby nursing home.

Jahan was awarded the prestigious $1,000 Glammy Scholarship by the GlamourGals Foundation. The GlamourGals Foundation is a nonprofit organization that encourages teenagers to offer companionship and beauty makeovers to seniors in nursing homes. It awards scholarships to volunteers who exhibit outstanding dedication and leadership in their efforts.

Jahan giving her acceptance speech at the Glammy Scholarship Awards Ceremony. Photo courtesy of GlamourGals Foundation Inc.

Working tirelessly at Ozanam Hall, a nursing facility in Bayside specializing in geriatric care and rehab, Jahan has greatly impacted the lives of many of the seniors in her community. Through GlamourGals’ “My Dear Friend” card-writing campaign, her handwritten jokes and letters brought joy to many of the facility’s residents. Jahan went above and beyond in creating specialized, hand-delivered cards during each holiday season and personally spent time with all of the seniors who lived within the facility’s ten floors. 

The high schooler also hosted makeover sessions, where she helped seniors feel like their best selves through the designs and styles of their choosing. Additionally, Jahan held karaoke sessions, nurturing the many seniors’ love for singing. Her innovative ideas also included photoshoot sessions after her makeovers with residents. 

Jahan with a senior at Ozanam Hall Nursing Home. Photo courtesy of GlamourGals Foundation Inc.

Jahan’s volunteer work with GlamourGals introduced her to Anna, a non-verbal senior whose unique needs profoundly impacted her. Through this experience, Jahan learned valuable lessons about communication and empathy. She shared how her time with Anna transformed her into a more patient, organized and empathetic person. “Working with Anna, a non-verbal senior, taught me the profound beauty of silent communication and the critical importance of understanding and patience. Communication is a spectrum, and its subtleties can be quite beautiful. I feel fortunate to experience it in this way. Even in our silent world, it has never once felt quiet,” she said.