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  • Maya Malekian

Inspired by Passion: Guest Speaker Visits My PR Class

One of my favorite parts of the semester in my intro to public relations class has been the guest speaker's that have come to talk about their atypical careers in public relations. My favorite guest speaker was Sumaira Ahmed, a BU alum who inspired me to chase after my dreams no matter how crazy they may seem.


Sumaira attended the College of Communication at Boston University with a major in public relations. She had her whole life ahead of her as a newly-graduating student who was planning to head to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting. Then one day, she fell sick and was diagnosed with sero-negative Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder. In fear of dying because of the lack of awareness and research done for a cure, she decided to put her public relations knowledge to work and started her own foundation: The Sumaira Foundation, Inc. She currently serves as the founder and executive director of her foundation continuing to spread global awareness with an aim to find a cure.


Hearing her story inspired me tremendously. After her presentation, I just had to ask what motivated her to take that leap of faith and pursue something she so deeply cared about but also seemed like a crazy feat in others eyes. Her response has stuck with me since: "I was desperate. I needed this foundation to work. My whole life depended on this. I was going to do whatever it would take to make it happen." The fire in her voice was infectious. It struck a fire within my own heart. I saw what passion looked like. I knew deep down I also had a passion like that, but I was so afraid to show it to the world. Leaving that talk, I couldn't believe I ever hid a fire like that from the world. People like Sumaira, who have the guts to chase after their dreams not matter how the world my respond, are the individuals who create greatness and rock the world with their ferocity.

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