Twelfth-grader Naba Rahman was presented with ABC 7’s annual 7 Who Care award at a luncheon on July 14. This year, Rahman is the youngest of seven recognized volunteers from Sarasota and Manatee counties.
When Rahman was younger, her parents and her sister, ninth-grader Sana Rahman, would go on trips to Pakistan and volunteer.
Upon her return to the United States, Rahman and her sister developed the Youth Empowerment Leadership Program to teach related volunteering skills to young people. The program is currently at place in Chicago, Pakistan, Vancouver and Bolivia. “My main thing is to help people help themselves and help others,” Rahman said.
Rahman works with numerous groups, including Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Peace Jam and Key Club. “She definitely has a lasting commitment, persistence and drive,” Peace Jam sponsor Bridgid Shannon said.
Pine View Speech and Debate sponsor Shari Dodd had similar things to say about Rahman. “Naba is very approachable, likable, and intelligent,” she said. Rahman currently serves as the captain of the debate team’s Extemporaneous Speaking events.
Rahman strives daily to exemplify the compassion she learned from her peers when she first attended Pine View. She still remembers the kindness felt from being addressed personally. “The biggest display of compassion was when people would say my name,” Rahman said. She believes that it is important to, “show that you recognize the person and appreciate them.”
Through service, Rahman has been able to learn from others. “You have to be willing to listen to them and take that in the perspective of your own life experiences,” she said. In particular, she said that while people often leave material objects behind, “it is more crucial to leave a legacy in the people you meet.”