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Nafisa Shah has found her Voice

By Victoria McCoy

These days Nafisa Shah is sporting a new-found confidence she acquired from reporting for her local newspaper, doing community service, and playing tennis for her school.

When describing working at the newspaper “The Voice,” Nafisa said, “It has allowed me to, kind of, step out of my shell some because I’m very reserved and shy.” The Voice is a community paper that focuses on mainly citizens of east Durham who often aren’t featured in their neighborhood paper.

Nafisa’s work for The Voice has helped her raise her own voice. Although Nafisa hopes the Chuck Stone Program will provide training for her to become a better interviewer and become more comfortable with speaking, she believes The Voice has already supported her goals. “It has helped me learn how to interact with people,” said Nafisa.

Nafisa’s timid nature often shows during school where she said she often keeps quiet and shies away from help when she needs it. Yet an organization called Lambda Zeta Chi is helping unite her passion for community service with her desire to gain confidence as she interacts with others within and outside of the program. Lambda Zeta Chi is an organization run by Delta sorority advisor in Nafisa’s hometown of Durham.

“It focuses on community service and building the sisterhood,” Nafisa said when describing how the organization arranges different service activities. Some of those service projects include activities such as cleaning schools and volunteering at the Durham Rescue Mission.

Nafisa has been playing varsity tennis at Hillside High School since her freshman year, and she now has a new understanding of what it takes to depart from her comfort zone.

“My biggest challenge has been learning the game and playing against people who don’t look like me,” Nafisa said as she described some of the challenges she endures when playing tennis.

As adversities come before Nafisa in tennis, she is able to hurdle over them. Along with determination, she also attributes her confidence to people who care for her.  “I kept practicing and always tried my best. I had friends and parents to motivate me,” she said.