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After seeing it, I knew I had to take action.

Last year, when Amina Akhil ’04 attended a screening of “Girl Rising” in Albuquerque, she had no idea the film would change her life. Now, as she prepares for the adventure of a lifetime, she says the film has been a tremendous inspiration for her.

“It really struck a chord,” says Amina, referring to the film that shares the stories of nine girls who face incredible challenges trying to get a basic education in the developing world. “I was privileged to attend high school at the Academy and receive this amazing education,” she says. Amina says she knows she was fortunate and the film left her with a strong sense of needing to give back.

“I was so touched by it. After seeing it, I knew I had to take action.” This summer, Amina will leave her home, family, friends, and job as a pharmacist in Albuquerque, and head to several undeveloped countries to see if she can help increase access to education for girls.

“I am not going in any official capacity or with any definite plans,” she says. “I want to stay in each location for as long as I can, and see if I can find a way to help.” Amina’s first stop will be Indonesia, where she has a friend who is serving in the Peace Corps as a teacher. After that, she plans to go to Tibet, Nepal, India, and Kenya.

Amina’s no stranger to world travel. She spent most of her breaks during college traveling and has traveled extensively in Europe and China. Her parents immigrated to New Mexico from India, so Amina also has spent a good deal of time in India, as well.

Her connection with India–and the fact that she has friends and family there–brought the film’s message close to home. But, she says, the unexpected death of her brother Osman Akhil ’01 in 2001 is what motivated her to act. “I don’t want to wait to follow my passion. I know that I may not have another chance.”