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  • Yusuf Mannan and Ali Sultan Ali

Summer Study for PVS Students

This summer, Pleasant View School students stayed active by engaging and working within their communities and participating in academic programs.Many students took opportunities to begin developing practical leadership skills. Often, there is a narrative of brain drain during the summer that many students experience by not partaking in any beneficial activities, but Alhamdulillah, this summer PVS students remained actively engaged with academic and leadership opportunities. Here are a few of the many accomplishments and activities PVS students participated in this summer.

Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is an annual international science fair that takes place every May. More than 1,500 students from roughly 70 countries and territories compete in the fair for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips and the grand prizes. Last summer, PVS student, Naisha Chowdhury, participated and won 3rd place in the Materials Science category.

“Everything was conducted online this year- we met fellow contestants, went through virtual project galleries, and attended virtual ISEF college sessions. I’ve always loved participating in ISEF in person because of how wholesome the experience always is. Nonetheless, they did their best this year virtually and I met some amazing students from other Islamic schools in America and around the world. It was a great honor and I was so blessed to represent Memphis and PVS!” -Naisha Chowdhury

Countywide Juvenile Justice Consortium

PVS Senior, Zahra Chowdhury, was the first teenager to be appointed to the Countywide Juvenile Justice Consortium by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. Due to Zahra’s immense work and involvement in the juvenile justice system, Zahra was elected for this prestigious position. Zahra’s achievement opens a path for youth all around the city to participate in these important positions of government and is a perfect example of how Muslim Youth can participate in civic engagement.

Student Law Internship Program at the Memphis Bar Association

Mohammad Taysir and Zahra Chowdhury were accepted into the selective program called the Student Law Internship Program (SLIP) at the Memphis Bar Association. They interned with Butler Snow (law firm) through the Memphis Bar Association, and were able to get hands-on experience working with the firm and established strong connections in the legal field.

National History Day

This summer, PVS continued its extraordinary performance in the National History Day competition. After dominating in the regional and state levels, at the national level of the National History Day Competition, Alhamdulillah, Manal Shala and Naisha Chowdhury won 6th place in the group website category with their project Puck: Communications through Cartoon. They were also awarded Outstanding Affiliate Entry from Tennessee, Senior Division, one of the top awards from the state of Tennessee.

“The NHD process was really different this year because of the pandemic. As a group project, communication was different than most years because we had to do everything online. There were no interviews during the competition like most years, which was a little difficult because usually the judges get to know a lot more about the project from the interview.” says Manal Shala

St Jude Leadership Society

Sara Almoazen and Zaheen Chowdhury attended the St Jude Leadership Society (SJLS) program this summer, which taught students leadership skills and service. Students participated in a series of virtual sessions to gain important skills in order to raise $2,500 to support cancer patients as well as help fund research at St. Jude. Through meaningful shared experiences and a series of leadership sessions, SJLS provides members with professional networking and development that can be carried through life and career.

National Council of Teachers of English

Naisha Chowdhury won the 2021 NCTE Achievement Award in Writing, a competition sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students to write and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation. Only juniors may participate. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands were eligible to nominate students for the writing program. Of those, 136 were selected to receive Certificates of Superior Writing and 148 received Certificates of Nomination. Naisha was one of only 3 students to win in the state of Tennessee.

Emory Medical School Program

This summer, Yasmeen Mannan attended the Emory Medical School program to delve into the field of medicine.. The Emory program was virtual, but still hands-on with many experiments done by using home materials.She says, “Over the course of the program, I was able to learn many new things about the biology and medical field, as well as perform labs and meet people from different professions in the biology field.”

Quran Teaching

This summer PVS Students taught Quran and Tajweed classes at MIC for 5 weeks along with other teachers. The program was aimed at teaching the basic and fundamental Tajweed rules to the students, working on reading in Arabic, and eventually reading smaller Surahs. PVS students Yasmeen Mannan, Zaheen Chowdhury, and Fayadh Chowdhury taught at MIC.

“I really enjoyed this experience and I benefited a lot from working with the students. I was very impressed by how quickly they learned and how excited they were to come to class and study. If I am given a similar opportunity in the future, I would love to teach again.” says Yasmeen Mannan.

Code Camp

Technology is becoming increasingly integral to our society. Coding is becoming crucial for young people to learn in order to enhance their digital knowledge for better career prospects. Two students, Aribah Morshed and Zaheen Chowdhury, took the initiative to join a coding camp this summer. They learned most of the basics of Java Script on a website called SPJs. They did multiple activities and projects throughout the summer and completed a final project at the end, compiling all the information they learned.

The Summer Trial and Advocacy Institute

Bringing fairness and dignity to our legal system is one of the most profound civil and human rights issues of our time. We are also encouraged as Muslims to enjoin good and forbid evil. Dana Shala and Ashar Siddiqui attended the Summer Trial and Advocacy Institute (STAI) this summer.

“I learned a lot while completing the STAI program. It was such an amazing experience. Everyday I learned something new. It gave me so many connections and experiences needed for the future. There was a career day where different attorneys from different backgrounds and specialties talked about their jobs. There was also a college fair where ambassadors from different colleges came and gave us information about their college. I also learned how to improve my public speaking skills as well as how to conduct a trial. I truly enjoyed this program and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested.” says Dana Shala

UT Knoxville BETS Program

BETS is a program designed to introduce rising high school seniors from diverse backgrounds to the various fields of business. Yusuf Mannan attended the summer program this year virtually, even though usually the program takes place at the UT Knox Campus.The program was run over a duration of 2 weeks, where students engaged in a multitude of activities such as meeting with professionals in the business world, participating in a team based online market competition, and learning about the different pathways of business.

Zahra Chowdhury, a PVS Student, was appointed to the Countywide Juvenile Justice Consortium


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