Story by Sara Paul
Nehal Ajmal never particularly cared for the subject of history. With her interests based in the arts, photography mainly, the 16-year-old Warwick Valley High School student stayed mainly within her comfort zone of snapping portrait and nature shots.
A busy volunteer across many popular Warwick community spots, the investigative teen would soon learn that her devotion to serving her community would also serve her, broadening her scope of interests into a discipline she once shied away from.
For the past two years, Nehal has volunteered at the Warwick Historical Society. Through giving tours of such iconic venues as Baird’s Tavern, the gal who once treaded cautiously in her historical studies, now finds herself appreciating an intellectual area with surprising zeal.
“I was really not great in history, but I now have a new found understanding and love for history,” commented Nehal, who also volunteers at the Albert Wisner Public Library and St. Anthony Community Hospital. At the Library, she is part of the Warwick Children’s Book Festival Committee and is vice-president of the Teen Advisory.
With a full plate of service to her town, Nehal firmly believes that, “As a young person, if you are actively involved in volunteer opportunities in your community, you will be able to develop invaluable skills and connections.”
An award winning photographer who has received accolades in the Scholastic Art and Writing Contest, Nehal also works as a local Henna artist.
“All of my efforts pretty much filter in to what I love and what I want to do in the future,” said the outgoing young lady. “I really just like getting to know people.”
The summa cum laude student is the oldest in a family of three children born in the US; Nehal is a daughter of a proud family of immigrants from Pakistan.
She looks forward to pursuing a college degree in the medical or humanities fields. The young tennis player also has bold travel itineraries in the works, including a trip to Morocco someday.
Taking a quick break before beginning a long shift volunteering in the St. Anthony Community Hospital gift shop, this young heroine urges others to, “Take the initiative, show up and just try it out!”
The Warwick Valley Dispatch would like to feature young people of Warwick who are doing meaningful things. Whether in school, athletics, in the community or at home, we know there are many moving stories that need to be told. These “hero” stories can be from the incredible to the mundane, from the kid who saved his dog from drowning to the teen who takes care of a sibling with special needs. We ask that if you know of any young individuals who would be appropriate for these human interest pieces, that you contact Sara Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-702-3091.