Mini Muslimat: New York High Schooler Discusses Private School & Stability

Here is the latest edition of Mini Muslimat, a Q&A series where young Muslim girls are interviewed to share some insight on their current lives and future aspirations.

These youth are the future generations of Muslim women who will continue our legacy and share our title. We want to empower them by sharing their goals and spreading their stories to help them network and make connections through this platform. In this installment, high school junior, Judy Darwish, talks about her school experience and career goals.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 

My name is Judy Darwish, and I am a Syrian-American Muslim girl. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and I have been living in the same house in Brooklyn ever since. I am sixteen years old, and I am currently in the 11th grade. I have three siblings, and I am a middle child, with an older brother and sister and a younger brother. 

Describe your high school experience so far: 

I go to a private Muslim school, so the romanticized high school experience shown on television is far from what I experienced. At first, it made me feel like I was missing something. Yet as I grow up, it’s allowing me to realize that I already found what all these kids seem to be looking for. In my private school, I have been with the same class for about a decade and I can confidently say that I have found the people I will cherish for the rest of my life. We care about each other deeply, and everyone is like an extended family. I’m learning to be very thankful for these experiences and cherishing these last few years with my friends, especially since so much of our high school experience was taken away by COVID.

What are some of your goals and aspirations? 

My goals in terms of college are to get into the NYU seven-year dental program. It would be three years of undergrad and four years of dental school. As for aspirations for my future and career choices, I have always wanted a very stable job that will allow me to live comfortably. I am a daughter to two immigrant parents, so I saw the daily struggle of not having a stable job, and I really would like to avoid that. Dentistry seems like the perfect balance of my love for science and securing myself a stable position in the future. However, I don’t want to set anything in stone for myself. I want to make mistakes and figure myself out. I feel like these next few years are the most important ones, and they will be times where I’ll figure out who I am and what I want out of life.

Any advice to other young Muslim or Non-Muslim girls your age?

It’s okay to be open about the future. Not every second of your life has to be planned, and it’s quite exciting to let the future roll on in day by day.

Photo credit: Candid photo of Judy Darwish smiling. Photo provided by Judy Darwish.