Zubair Ali’s spectacular run through Huntington High School is ending in fitting fashion; with a full scholarship to Lafayette College as a Marquis Fellow. The senior has excelled in every possible way, including in the performing arts and he has captured the respect of everyone.
“Lafayette recognizes its most outstanding applicants with a Marquis Scholarship or Fellowship,” according to the college. “The award is named after the Marquis de Lafayette, who left behind the safety of his aristocratic life in France to fight for the cause of freedom in the American colonies.”
Huntington High School senior Zubair Ali
Mr. Ali is fully invested in the life of the high school and he’s a well-known and well-loved figure throughout Huntington. His bright smile, hearty laugh and upbeat personality can lift the spirits of anyone and brighten every room he enters.
“To form the Marquis Scholars/Fellows community, Lafayette seeks students who have demonstrated intellectual curiosity in addition to superior academic achievement,” according to the college. “Furthermore, the college looks for students who are creatively engaged in the life of their communities and who, like the college’s namesake, have ‘made a difference’ through significant accomplishments in school and community.”
The senior’s record speaks for itself, so it’s not a surprise that Lafayette offered him a full ride as a Marquis Fellow. He has been a standout in every respect.
“Huntington has prepared me by teaching me what it means to work,” Mr. Ali said. “Without the rigor of the school courses I took and inspiring teachers, I would have never been able to work as hard or do so well.”
The teenager believes in his heart that he has selected the perfect college for his interests. “Besides being a Marquis Fellow, Lafayette is an extremely tightknit community, with only undergrads and such a strong alumni network,” Mr. Ali said. “The liberal arts feel of the campus was all the more enticing.”
Mr. Ali intends to pursue a degree in Asian Studies and pair it with International Relations or History. His career goals include service in the diplomatic corps and perhaps serving as ambassador to India.
What courses has Mr. Ali found to be among the valuable? “Definitely Macro and Micro Economics,” he said. “I was completely oblivious to the economy of the US or any economics terms. I am still sort of (sorry Mr. [James] Graber), but the information we learn is so fascinating. My most valuable course has been Advanced Placement World History. Without it, I would have never found my love for Asian studies or history.
The teenager’s favorite out of class activity has been the drama club, with the marching band being a close runner-up. “Drama club has taught me to be myself and I’ve grown so much out of my shell,” Mr. Ali said. “I’ve become more outspoken and outgoing because of drama. Plus, I love to sing and dance.”
Founded in March 1826 by the citizens of Easton, Pennsylvania, Lafayette’s original vision was “to teach the habits and subjects of a disciplined mind, the skills to conduct careful research and come to considered conclusions and the desire and ability to lead a purposeful life.” The same mission continues today. The college offers a bachelor of arts in 37 fields and a bachelor of science in 14 fields, including five in engineering. Enrollment totals more than 2,600 students drawn from 46 states and 53 countries. The 340 acre campus on the Delaware River features 69 buildings.
Mr. Ali’s advice for next year’s ninth grade class? “I would tell the incoming freshmen that although it may be hard at first coming here, never stop working hard,” he said. “It’s amazing what you yourself can do when you put your mind to it.”
It’s a little hard to believe that in a few short months, Mr. Ali will be heading off to college. He has been such an essential component of the high school community there will be a noticeable void when he departs for Lafayette.
“Huntington has been a great experience,” Mr. Ali said. “After transferring to Friends Academy and back here, I’ve met some of the most loving and genuine people in my life. And some of the best teachers of my life. I’m going to miss seeing everyone, including teachers, administrators and student in the halls and smiling to them and talking with them. I will always remember the kindness and open mindedness of the Huntington community.”