Hailing from a small village in the Jhenaidah district, Mst. Anika Tabassum was one of the few girls from her village who was fortunate enough to receive an education. And she turned this opportunity to change her life by winning a “Hunsaker scholarship” from the University of Redlands. She is the first student from Bangladesh to win this scholarship.
Her journey from Jhenaidah to the USA has not been an easy one. She had to fight not only financial challenges but also family prejudice. She joined the National Youth Assembly, the biggest youth assembly in Bangladesh, organised by Volunteer for Bangladesh, and was inspired by the Education USA stall to go abroad for education. During the covid lockdown, she started applying to different universities in the USA. Even though she did not have the money to register for the SAT, she persevered. She opened an online business and managed the money from there. A firm believer of the ‘never-give-up’ ideology, Anika had a dream – to not just receive a higher education but to do so from one of the best universities in the USA. Her stellar application impressed the admissions committee so much that the university, sponsored a fully-funded trip for her to attend the interview in person.