What Happened: Ansar Ali worked as a waiter at Zakir Tikka, an eatery on the LUMS campus, 8 years ago. He had always dreamed of being an accountant but had to leave school at an early age to support his family after his father’s death. While working on campus, he was featured in a series called Humans of LUMS, which was started by the university’s photographic society. Within the feature, he talked about his aspirations and expressed a wish to return to academia.
The Response: The post received a remarkable response. The students of the graduating batch decided to band together to support him and his family financially, while also sending him back to school. In particular, the student body president Salaar Khan spearheaded the group. He began with setting up a gofundme page and visited Ansar’s family to convince them to let him return to school.
The Journey: Since Ansar had left school in the 9th grade 5 years ago, he had a lot to catch up on. Salaar gave him a room in his home, where he studied for his Intermediate Exams. After a struggle of two years, Ansar passed his ‘FA’ exam with an A. He then decided to pursue an accounting degree and was accepted at SZABIT, Islamabad on a partial scholarship. However, this was not the end of his challenges. Once there, he struggled with communicating in English. His community still came through– the students raised more money to put him through an online language course.
Currently: Now, Ansar is set to graduate with a degree in accounting and finance in June. He has already received a job offer from a firm he interned at but is on the lookout for more opportunities. He talks fondly of the students and strangers who helped him along the way, and hopes to keep making them proud.