Extraordinary Leaders are HPU students recognized for excellence and service performed inside and outside the classroom. They are nominated by faculty, staff and fellow students for striving to make a difference in the larger community. Such students lead by example, have a high regard for academic endeavors and are committed to improving our community at large. To celebrate these Extraordinary Leaders, we are regularly highlighting the students who have received this recognition.
Learn more about this HPU Extraordinary Leader below!
Amirah Darnaby is a December 2021 graduate from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She is graduating with a major in human relations with minors in French and sociology and anthropology. She has held various leadership roles on campus and completed multiple internships as an undergraduate, including one this past summer and fall with NASA. Following graduation, she will pursue her Master’s in Communication and Business Leadership at HPU. While continuing her studies, she has also accepted a position at Booz Allen Hamilton as a general management consultant.
How have you been personally impacted and changed through your experiences at HPU?
Coming into college, I was an introvert who suffered from social anxiety and low self-confidence. It wasn’t long after I settled into my new home that I adjusted and got involved in activities that brought me joy. During my freshman year, I joined the Diversity Club as the SGA rep, I rushed Alpha Phi Omega and even helped start a new club on campus, the Sociology and Anthropology Club. Within these organizations, I found passionate leaders and lifelong friends. My Success Coach noticed how well I was doing in my courses and empowered me to continue to strive for academic excellence. I worked diligently in my classes and never shied away from challenging coursework. As a human relations major, it was critical for me to become a better communicator and leader.
My most critical point at HPU was when I was required to conduct informational interviews for a class and build connections with professionals in my field of interest. I took a huge leap of faith and reached out to several professionals from top organizations. After speaking with them, all four offered me internships. I went from having low self-confidence to realizing my potential. I secured an internship with the Center for Creative Leadership in the spring of 2021 and another with NASA in the summer and fall of 2021. Throughout college, I have had five different internship experiences. Without the encouragement of my mentors and professors, I would not have transformed into the young woman I am today. My story embodies the statement that “every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.”
If a high school student asked you why to attend HPU, what would you say?
HPU is a nurturing and inspiring environment. It is a place where you truly develop life skills that are essential to thriving in the post-graduate world and leaving an impactful legacy.
What’s one way you generate creativity or productivity?
I generate productivity by celebrating the small wins. I am motivated by seeing success within the process and not solely the outcome. I also write weekly affirmations on my whiteboard that I wake up and read everyday.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
What is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite study spot is Cottrell Hall because of the vibrant atmosphere. I can grab a coffee and find a relaxing spot to do homework.
What is your favorite sculpture on campus?
My favorite sculpture is the Rosa Parks sculpture along the Kester International Promenade. She inspires me to advocate for change and follow my passion for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
What do you love most about being a student at HPU?
I love how HPU is always finding innovative ways to bring the community together through social events such as food truck gatherings, festivals, tailgates and other traditions. I have taken advantage of both professional and social opportunities on campus, which has allowed me to grow tremendously throughout my college experience.