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I am AACC: Summer Raza, Student

Student Snapshot

Student Snapshot: Summer Raza

Age: 18 

Hometown: Pasadena 

After ending her high school career with strong academic honors, AACC freshman Summer Raza bypassed the university route and decided to jumpstart her college experience at a place where she saw the most opportunity: AACC.

“I decided to go here because at a university there are large classes with large groups of people and you’re not known as an individual, you’re known as a group or a class. Professors don’t pay enough attention to you because of that,” she explains. “But here, it’s totally different because professors know you by name, how you’re doing, and they care about how you’re doing in class.”

The eighteen-year-old graduated from Old Mill High School last spring and recently completed her first fall semester at AACC with fifteen credits and a handful of activities in place: student ambassador, Biology Club treasurer, and member of the International Student Association, Muslim Student Association, and South Asian Student Association. “It was awesome. Everything went great,” she says.

A self-proclaimed math enthusiast, Summer has already decided math is in her future. “[At Old Mill High School] I was in the IB [International Baccalaureate] program that was started for us,” she says. “I took calculus and I thought it was pretty easy so then I started looking into that. I took Calculus II here and it was pretty easy so I thought, ‘Let’s just do a PhD in math.’” Having good teachers in her life didn’t hurt in her decision-making either. “The professors are awesome. If you have a problem you can go and talk to them and they’re really concerned about you,” she says. She acknowledges math and chemistry professors: Professor Hess and Dr. Casey, who she both describes as “really good.”

She hopes to follow in the footsteps of her two older sisters and transfer to University of Maryland College Park. “There’s no purpose in going to a university if AACC is providing you with all of these choices,” she says. “You can transfer to any of the universities later on and get credit for the same classes when you get there.”

As she begins the spring semester, her schedule reflects a 15-credit course load, but there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that she’s looking forward to taking her economy class; the bad news is her schedule is completely absent of math. “I’m really sad about it,” she admits. However, she’s optimistic about the new semester and about encouraging recent high school graduates to consider AACC.  

“AACC is great. There is no way you can look at this and say it’s just a community college,” she says. “There’s a lot of stuff that you can do with taking classes. It’s not just you come here, take classes, and leave—you can’t do that. You have to take part in all the things that go around. There were over 50,000 students here this past semester and I believe a lot of them were in clubs. There is no way you can overlook that and just be a part of the learning.” kr

More on Summer… 

Role models: Dad (computer analyst/project manager at NIH) and mom  

Current occupation: CVS customer service

Student Ambassador Responsibilities: “We haven’t done this yet but I believe what happens is you make students in the upcoming generation aware what AACC is like. We persuade people to come here because most people who go to high school don’t understand the complexity of AACC. They just know where it is and that it’s an institution of college, but they don’t know all the majors we have. So I think student ambassadors go to high schools and persuade them to come here.
"So far though as a student ambassador, I have called people who contributed at the gala and thanked them for their support.”

Favorite class: “I love math, I’d take it for anything. My other favorite class would be chemistry because it’s easier but not English.” 

For fun: “I like playing tennis and bothering my brother [12].” 

Want to contact Summer Raza? E-mail her at

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