Umay Salma, 22
Student High Achiever
Umay Salma has, perhaps, the most astonishing story. She is an Electrical Engineering student, a Cultural Ambassador at the US Department of State and IEEE Islamabad’s Student Section Representative in Asia-Pacific. She is also the mother of a 4-year-old girl.
In 2010, she topped her Matriculation exam with an honorary Silver Medal from the Chief Minister of Punjab. In 2012, she passed her FSc. with a Gold Medal. That is also the year her father died and her daughter was born. That was the most defining year of her life, one that she credits to being the reason where she is now.
Since enrolling in NUST, she has revived IEEE Women in Engineering(WIE) Group in SEECS. The main goal of WIE is to encourage, engage and inspire young women to pursue STEM education. For that purpose she actively conducts voluntary teaching workshops for under-privileged children. In the summer of 2015, she represented Pakistan at the IEEE Region 10 Congress in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Umay Salma has also attended an exchange semester at Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan, USA. This automatically gives her the title of Cultural Ambassador at US Department of State. But she doesn’t take it for granted. She’s an active member of the Pak-US Alumni Network and recently co-organized the PUAN International Peace Conference.
In September 2015, Salma was chosen among the handful of people who were trained by former US Vice President Al Gore for “The Climate Reality Project”. She has since then served as a volunteer Climate Reality Leader for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps and has conducted awareness seminars in NUST and Bahria University.
In order to attend university, she had to leave her daughter back home. Her decision was met with a lot of criticism from onlookers. But she has her eyes set on the prize that waits for her ahead: a better future for both her family and herself. Umay Salma is fearless and inspiring – the two qualities her daughter will one day be able to acknowledge.