Safiyyah Shakir is following pretty closely in her mother’s footsteps, but carving out a path all her own.

Born and raised in Chicago, Safiyyah and her four younger siblings were home-schooled by their mom. As Safiyyah finished her high school curriculum, she felt as though she was, in her own words, “done with school.” She hadn’t planned on going on to college, but as she was finishing high school, her mom was starting to work on earning her associate degree at City Colleges of Chicago.

“Seeing my mom succeed made me realize that I could go to college, too,” said Safiyyah, and she enrolled in classes at Olive-Harvey College that fall.

While her mom studied elementary education, Safiyyah opted for early childhood education with the goals of teaching, starting her own school, and becoming a children’s book author.

Getting involved on campus was an important part of Safiyyah’s college experience – she is a part of the Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the African American Studies Association, and STEM Club.

She also urges students to ask questions, saying “My mom always taught me to ask questions, so that’s what I do – if I have a question, I ask it because someone will be able to answer it. The Student Activities Office staff even calls me the ‘Queen of Questions!’”

Safiyyah’s next stop is Governors State University, where she has received the Promise Scholarship to help cover the cost of tuition. She starts classes toward her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2019, just after she graduates from Olive-Harvey College in December of 2018.

She and her mom will share the same college campus for one semester before her mom graduates in the spring of 2019 with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

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