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Rising Leaders: Sara Aykit

By Kylie Gray

Sara Aykit - Drexel English Student
Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone


January 25, 2019

BA English ’19
Minor in Creative Writing

Sara Aykit has harnessed the power of storytelling to celebrate diversity and the common experiences that unite us. A Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar, she has attended writing workshops in Ireland and served as a memory writer for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Her focus on community building has led her to become a student advocate with Drexel’s Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion and to assist with refugee resettlement while on co-op at the nonprofit Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Pennsylvania.

Leadership Highlights

  • Co-founder and President, Drexel Queer Student Union
  • Created student guide and panel discussion on the risks of being “out” while abroad
  • Co-created computer literacy class for immigrants and asylum seekers

On Founding the Queer Student Union:

“We wanted to create a club that was intersectional and inclusive to all kinds of people — in terms of race, gender, ability, majors and more. We are the only student organization on campus that caters to queer people, so making everyone feel welcome is important.”

On the Importance of Storytelling:

“Stories preserve our humanity. They are one of the best ways to learn about a different world or group of people. Every individual is important, and stories can help to capture and reveal that.”

On Her Leadership Style:

“I am an optimist, so I try to see the best in people. It’s an important quality as a leader — if you see the best in your team and in the people you’re trying to help, you work harder to maximize everyone’s potential.”

How She Plans to Change the World:

By promoting diversity and supporting marginalized populations at a university or nonprofit

* This article originally appeared in the College of Arts and Sciences' Ask magazine feature story, “Rising Leaders.” For more Ask stories, visit askmagazine.org.