Meet the Team!

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Maesha Shonar

Maesha is a student at Barnard College of Columbia University, majoring in Economics and Political Science. As a student who hails from a bustling immigrant community in The Bronx, she understands the obstacle that arises for students from a similar background. Thus, since the early days of her high school career, she involved herself in community based collectives. In June of 2016, The Link Scholars started merely as an idea on paper, a vision Maesha saw to bridge the inequality gap in under-resourced communities; by September of 2016, she decided to launch The Link Scholars, a non profit organization that facilitates the transition from middle school to high school for under-resourced students. She also currently works at The Double Discovery Center at Columbia University as a Lead Liaison.

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Priyata Ahmed Richy

Priyata is currently a Senior at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY. She joined The Link Scholars as the Program Director to help underrepresented students gain equitable access to resources in order to succeed academically and professionally in high school and beyond. Priyata is passionate about increasing equity in education and hopes to join a career in the non-profit industry after graduation to continue serving underrepresented students. She has worked alongside Maesha to develop and improve the curriculum of The Link Scholars and has helped to define the structure of the program as a whole. She and Maesha form the backbone of The Link Scholars programming and curriculum.

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Ahmed Hussain

Ahmed is currently a Senior at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY. He joined The Link Scholars because he felt compelled to help students that were and currently are in the same shoes as he was when he was in middle school. His goal is to bring more wonderful individuals into the program and change what statistics have to say about low income students from minority backgrounds. He one day hopes that his students can live up to any challenge and face any obstacle in their way to accomplish great things in the future.

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Norphel Sherpa

Norphel attends the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York. He has joined The Link Scholars because of his passion to work with both students and parents to help nurture student growth. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor at his Taekwondo center and is Head of Internal Public Relations at his school’s club, the Philippine American Organization. His goal is to assist all of the students in finding the right school and help them transition into it with ease, while building a strong foundation for future success.

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Lisha Rajput

Lisha is a student at Macaulay Honors College in Hunter College, double majoring in political science and economics. Born in India, raised in Bermuda and living in Queens, New York, she has witnessed and experienced educational stratification in various socio-economic climates. She recognizes that disadvantaged communities often fall short of their potential due to the lack of resources, guidance, and support. She intends to focus her efforts to cultivate an environment of youth empowerment and education access. Alongside with The Link Scholars, Lisha is a marketing intern, a legal intern, holds leadership positions at various school clubs and hopes to put forth her diverse experience to better the success of today’s youth.