Board Member, District 5
Prince George’s County Board of Education
Age is nothing but a number, and Raaheela Ahmed is here to prove that “age does not delegate maturity.”
In 2012, Ahmed, now 24, a self-described “head-covering Muslim-American college student,” won the majority of votes against five candidates, including the incumbent, for the primary nomination to the Prince George’s County School Board.
Ahmed thought that her ethnicity, religion or gender would be the factors presenting the most challenges – but it was her age. Her incumbent opponent used Ahmed’s age to show she lacked experience, costing Ahmed the general election nomination.
But Ahmed’s determination did not go unnoticed. A sea of change occurred after the election, and ultimately opened up a seat on the board, which Ahmed won in 2016.
“It goes to show that young people can have an influence. We can make positive social change. Experience does not guarantee wisdom,” she says.
To Arun Puracken, a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher in the Prince George’s School System, Ahmed demonstrates “true leadership that cannot be learned from a textbook.”