“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity,” said Albert Einstein, the world’s most famous theoretical physicist; wise words for generations to follow. In Pakistan, where education is often a luxury rather than a necessity, we have seen numerous talented students with extraordinary potential deprived of this most basic human right. Though reasons vary from person to person, arguably the most common is financial instability. However, there are a few, who manage to beat the odds with their determination and hard work.
Danish Raza, a graduate of Accounting and Finance from LUMS is one such individual who, despite life’s hardships, managed to graduate from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Today, he shares his story in the hope of inspiring those who face similar challenges in life, yet are determined to succeed. His story is especially relevant for bright minds that are looking for an opportunity gain higher education but are unable to afford it because of financial constraints.
Danish is one of five children, who along with their parents have spent many years of his life in a rented house in the small town of Khanpur. A gifted student eager to learn and achieve self-actualisation, Danish secured an excellent result in his intermediate exam from Punjab Board. However, his dream of pursuing higher studies was crushed due to the unavailability of good universities in his neighborhood and his family’s financial constraints, which posed as a significant road block in his quest for higher education.
Where others might have given up, Danish remained steadfast and relentless in the pursuit of his educational goals. An added blessing was his family who always helped and encouraged him to stay focused and never let him give up on his dreams.
Then one day, the LUMS National Outreach Programme (NOP) Team visited his college to introduce the unique scholarship programme. The NOP served as a stepping stone for Danish as he was able to reach LUMS through the programme’s coaching sessions and financial support.
“The day I received my final selection letter for LUMS is the day I achieved real success,” recalls Danish. He further added that LUMS paved the way for ensuing success and everything he has achieved so far is linked to his selection in the National Outreach Programme. “I have not paid a single penny to prepare for or study at LUMS. If this opportunity had not come my way, I would not have achieved anything.”
He added that the spirit of studying at a world-class institution motivated him to work hard, complete his Bachelor’s degree and landed up a job as a Credit Risk Analyst, Corporate Division at one of the top banks of Pakistan.
Danish’s story of struggle and hard work is inspirational for students who want to achieve excellence. We should all remember that we have nothing to lose by going after our goals. Instead of making assumptions about failure or success, we should remember that perseverance is the key to success; stay determined and consistent in your actions. Set targets, put in optimal effort, work as hard as you can and then have faith that your perseverance will be rewarded.
Always believe if you can dream it, you can do it, because if we learn one thing from Danish’s story it is that where there is a will, there is a way.