Living the Dream
Rakhsha applied to Miami University her senior year. It was the only college campus she’d ever been to because she
attended a summer camp there. The school gave her a generous financial aid package and she was admitted to the
honors program. In August 2017, she packed up her belongings and headed south to Oxford, Ohio.
Vidya is proud of her daughter. “She struggled a lot and it was hard for her,” she says. “For all the times that I was frustrated,
I would just look at our girls and remember why we came. Rakhsha has done better than I ever expected.”
Today, Rakhsha is a junior at Miami. She has a warm, compassionate way about her, so it’s no surprise that she’s
a Resident Assistant. She also has a confidence that comes with enduring considerably more life experience than
her 20 years would suggest. She plans to double major in microbiology and public health with minors in anthropology
The decorations on the walls of Rakhsha’s dorm room – a Pakistani flag, a sign that reads “Know Them, Raise
Them, Be Them,” a picture of Rosie the Riveter, and a Celebrate Diversity bumper sticker – serve as outward expressions
and inward reminders of who she is: a strong, bright, principled, and driven young woman who embraces her
adoptive country and the future it’s provided her.
“There is no such thing as an obstacle in Rakhsha’s life. Only opportunities,” Szendrey says. “I think that pretty much
says it all.” SL
Photo by Amy Moore
Rakhsha in her dorm room at Miami University.