Azeezat Adeleke was born in Washington, D.C. to parents who made their way to the United States from Nigeria in order to build a better life for themselves and their children. Like so many immigrants before them, they came in hot pursuit of that icon of history, that mythical ideal: the American Dream. Undoubtedly, that pursuit has not always been easy. There have been bumps in the road, unexpected detours, and moments of uncertainty. But regardless of her parent’s struggles to secure a stake in the American middle class, Azeezat has always had one goal in mind: making good on the opportunity to catch a piece of the American Dream and hold on to it.
Taking advantage of the power of an American education, something so many students take for granted, has always been of paramount importance to Azeezat. She holds a 4.6 weighted G.P.A. and a 4.0 un-weighted G.P.A., ranking her third in a graduating class of 563. By the end of high school, Azeezat will have completed twelve Advanced Placement classes. She has earned numerous distinctions, including being named a National Achievement Scholar and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. In 2012, Azeezat was one of sixty-four students selected from a pool of 1,300 to participate in the prestigious Telluride Association Summer Program scholarship, studying literature and ethics at Cornell University.
In order to ensure that education remains a tool of empowerment and equality, Azeezat has been involved in student government for years. She currently serves at the Student Member of the Board of Education in her home, Charles County, Maryland. This position allows Azeezat to represent the voices of thousands of students and play a part in the policy decisions that will affect their lives. Over the years, student government has allowed Azeezat to testify before lawmakers, speak to the directors of charitable organizations, raise thousands of dollars for non-profits, and of course, help everyday students like herself.
Having grown up in the shadow of Washington, with its grand political history and ever-changing political future, Azeezat has been drawn to studying public policy. After winning government-funded scholarships to study abroad in Turkey and South Korea, Azeezat saw the tangible impact of American diplomacy in far-flung corners of the globe. As a result, after attending Yale University, Azeezat hopes to become a foreign policy decision maker. In this way, she can help protect the status of the American Dream the world over, giving more immigrant families the chance to pursue it and give their children better opportunities.