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2018 Exceptional Muslimah, Esma Duka

July 19, 2018


Esma Duka's academic prowess often places her at the head of the class in every subject. She has received accolades for maintaining an impressive GPA which score includes grades from AP and Honors courses she has taken. What captures my attention the most about Esma, academically, is that she is not one seeking just a good grade. Esma is seeking the full conceptual understanding and benefit of whatever she learns. She immerses herself in the subject matter for her own personal growth and development. This is a trait of a scholarly person. A life-long learner who can take what she studies and share it with those around her. Along with her academic achievements, Esma is often looked upon to be the leader in many school functions and activities. With easy confidence and a maturity level beyond her years, the role as leader comes naturally to Esma. She works well with her teachers, peers, and younger students alike. She has directed skits and plays, facilitated halaqah-type discussions, volunteered in fundraisers, and participated in debates and panel discussions. She tutors, coaches, and lends encouragement to those in need often. Overall, Esma is valuable contributor to the staff and student body.
Esma’s sacrifices do not stop when the school day ends. Along with her challenging academic schedule and school leadership role, she also plays a prominent role within her family. Esma is the oldest female amongst her 6 siblings. Being the oldest, in her traditional Albanian family, comes with a great deal of responsibility. Esma acts as a support and assists her mother within the home and with the care of her younger siblings. Whereas some teenage girls may have time to participate in extracurricular and social activities outside of school, Esma’s time is limited due to the commitment she has to her family. The love she has for them is displayed through her actions and has left a mark on her character which makes her quite different. Esma is much more sagacious, patient, diplomatic, and sincere when compared to other girls her age. Very admirable traits for young lady to have developed at such an early age.  Esma Duka is a current senior at the Islamic Academy of Burlington County (IABC). She has attended Islamic School for most of her primary and secondary school years excelling in academically challenging programs. During her high school years at IABC, she has earned honors while taking accelerated AP and Honors courses. Her focus is mainly Science and Math; however, she takes interest in all subjects and areas of development. Esma is active within her school acting as a leader and mentor in many programs and activities. She is also active within her local Muslim community of GCLEA where she attends the weekly Youth Group meetings in an effort to surround herself with positive influences and increase her iman. Esma’s academic excellence has been displayed in her SAT scores of 1400 out of 1600 which placed her in the top 8% nationally. She plans on attending Rutgers University in the fall and applying for the 7 year BS/DO Medical Program. 


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