Ms. Abbasi a Perfect Match to Help Global Citizens
By Rohit Pollock, '17
Ms. Humaira Abbasi is the new school counselor of the Global Citizens SLC and like many of her students, she knows what it is like to enter America with hopes and dreams.
Like most students of Global Citizens, Ms. Abbasi is also an immigrant. She was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and journeyed to America at a young age where she grew up in Hicksville, Long Island. Abbasi describes her childhood as a blessing in disguise for not knowing how to speak a word of English. She grew up in an ultra-conservative Muslim family that mixed in new American culture and values. To an average teenage, her dramatic struggles were pretty exciting and challenging for her to assess where she belonged. However, she stated that “Over time, I created my new identity, where I can have the best of both worlds. Now, I have an appreciation and worldview to understand both spectrums of culture, value, and race differentials,” said Ms. Abbasi.
Ms. Abbasi completed her Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University in Education with Cum Laude Latin Honor. She went to college to follow her passion which was to be a school counselor. She was heavily involved in student life, sports and of working as a teacher's assistant. She said that College years were the best years of her life. In her teaching career, Ms. Abbasi has worked as a paraprofessional, teacher, Youth Transition Coordinator, and College Admissions counselor.
One of her tremendous struggles in life was dealing with a language barrier, which is also an obstacle for students in Global Citizens. Ms. Abbasi said, “I love being the school counselor of Newcomers/ Global Citizens. I have been in my students shoes as an ‘English as New Language’ (ENL) student in middle school and high school. I understand their struggles and process of cultural assimilation. My students inspire and motivate me to strive for higher career goal. My students teach me something new every day.”
Ms. Abbasi has a connection to Hillcrest as Ms. Dejean, school counselor of Media Arts and Music knew Ms. Abbasi while she was student because Ms Dejean was her college professor at Queens College. Ms. Dejean said, “She is a great school counselor. She was a really good student when I had her in Queens College for the counselor course that I taught. She would always ask questions. She would stay after class to get more information about what we were talking about. She is definitely someone who likes to learn and she wants to make sure that she is doing things the right way as a school counselor.”
Throughout her life, Ms. Abbasi was inspired by her family, co-workers, and even strangers on NYC subways and third world country poverty stricken youngsters. Abassi said, “My mom and dad supported me unconditionally. My mom taught me never to fear.. But keep trying.. And fight for your dreams. ”
Other than being a school counselor, Ms. Abbasi likes to keep busy in her spare time. She enjoys traveling, painting, trying out new food, working out, spending time with her family and friends, cooking, cleaning, and doing fun activities or community service. Ms. Abbasi is the type of person who leaves all doubts behind when she knows what she wants to achieve. Her achievements are created through the push that her students give her.
Ms. Abassi said, “I want to empower students to make proper life decisions whether it's academic, social, emotional or personal.
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