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Photo of Sehr Shaikh

Degree or certificate program at CLC: A.S.

Major: Pre-med; planning to graduate from CLC in December 2017.

Transfer school and degree: University of Illinois-Chicago, where I plan to earn a bachelor's degree in biology and then enter medical school.

Hometown: Lake Villa, Ill.

High school: Warren Township High School, 2015.

High school clubs and activities: President of Muslim Student Alliance.

Interests and hobbies: Coordinating a youth group at my mosque; baking.

Sehr Shaikh

Coming to CLC was one of the best decisions I’ve made, because I’ve really grown to become more responsible and more self-confident. When I first started at CLC, I barely knew anyone. By the second semester, I started working part time in the Admissions and Recruitment office’s call center, where I began to make friends. I now hold a part-time position in the Center for International Education.  Through this job, I learned that I can work and make friends with people with different backgrounds.

I am in CLC's Honors program, which has been great. The atmosphere is different from the traditional courses in that the Honors class sizes are smaller, and the focus is not only on passing exams, but having more intellectual discussions. I've built a good relationship with the professors and other students.

One course I really enjoyed was child growth and development, a psychology class. It had a nice mix of lecture and discussion, and I enjoyed sharing my own personal experiences of growing up, my family structure and seeing its influence on my personality. 

Besides the courses, the tutoring centers at CLC have been really helpful. I’ve sought help in many subjects. There’s a good combination of both professional and student tutors. Sometimes, the student tutors will explain a concept in a way that a fellow student can better relate to, and that’s helpful. Joining a study group for my genetics class was really helpful. I was able to share ideas, see different ways that students learn—and make friends, too.

Becoming a co-president of the Muslim Student Alliance club was a great way to build leadership skills. I’ve worked with others to plan events such as Islamic Student Awareness Week. One of the days was Hijab Day, in which we put hijabs (head scarves) on girls and let them keep them. We expected 50 people to show up, but about 200 did and in just about one-third of the time that we had planned! Our club also set up an Islamic trivia table on Student Street, where we handed out coffee and sweets. We kept it casual, and it was really successful.Our club members answered questions about the faith, and students who weren’t Muslim said they gained a better understanding of the tradition. It was a really nice feeling because it showed that the community really cares about welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds.

A community college is a very economical, nice way to begin college for several reasons. For many students, starting at a larger, four-year university is overwhelming in itself. Plus, you may have classes in large lecture halls, and you’re expected to get good grades, too. By starting at CLC, you slowly get to take on responsibilities. In my case, I’ve taken college classes, worked part-time jobs, helped lead a student club and, because I’m living at home, I see my family, too.

My career goal is to work in psychiatry. The psychology class in high school, plus the three I’ve taken at CLC, have been fascinating. I’ve been told that I’m good at helping others and understanding their situation.