Ayesha Haleem is a community leader, organizer, and international student from Karcahi, Pakistan. She realized early on that as a brown Muslim woman in the United States, her identity would be perceived as inherently political. Instead of shying away from this, she chose to embrace her identity, pursuing a political science degree, while championing international student rights. As president of the Pakistani Student Association, she has been a catalyst for positive change and cross-cultural understanding. With the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC), she worked with the University Religious Council to explore faith-based aspects of the international community and host events that foster interfaith dialogues. As the international development director at USAC, Haleem helped to create an international student representative for the Student Government Council at UCLA. In her senior year, she used her office as a platform to increase accessibility to student government for the marginalized community—including the allocation of $50,000 for international students in times of crisis. During her time at UCLA she established a nuanced understanding of international students and their needs and helped to strengthen the rights and culture of the international community.
“Even if I pursue politics in the near future, the ultimate goal is serving the people.”