Name: Fariha Sehar ’23
Major: Criminal justice
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
Sights set on: Law school
People might not know: Fariha founded her own nonprofit to aid underprivileged women when she was just 17.
What stood out to you about Roanoke College?
The warmth of the people that I met and their support for my goals. I felt at home here even though I was far away from home. Before I visited, I was hesitant because I had a perception of Roanoke as a small place. But what I’ve found is it's a place where people really want to help you and see you grow. Everyone on campus has been there for me on my journey over these past four years.
What are some of your favorite programs on campus?
There are so many. I’ve been on the Academic Integrity Council, the Student Conduct Council and I’m president of the International Club.
Then, I got a wonderful opportunity that I’m not sure a lot of international students elsewhere get because it’s so competitive. I interned on Capitol Hill as part of the Washington Semester program. I worked in U.S. Sen. Mark Warner’s office and was on the hill every day. Just being there, standing under the Capitol Dome, was amazing. It really helped shape my identity, and solidified that I want to go to law school and work to help people.
What were the biggest learning curves during your first year and what helped you get acclimated?
Everything was different. The classroom systems, the writing styles, there was so much to learn. All of my professors were great and guided me through a lot of things. When I first came to the U.S., I could speak English, but my accent was very different. And I had so many ideas and things I wanted to share in my classes. My professors made sure to give me those opportunities and the time to explain myself more and ask questions. They didn’t just assume I wouldn't be able to make myself understood. The confidence that gave me and the acceptance that I felt from the community are something I’ll always take with me.