Labiba Hassan ’25: CMC answered her call
Labiba Hassan ’25
Major: Philosophy, Data Science Sequence
When applying to colleges, Labiba Hassan ’25 realized she had made an error on her financial aid forms. She frantically reached out to each school — about 30 of them — to try to rectify the problem, but only one answered her call: Claremont McKenna College.
“The person on the phone was so comforting,” Hassan said. “She calmed me down, and she told me about all the scholarships, programs, and financial opportunities I would have access to throughout my time at CMC. She humanized the application process and made me see how CMC cares about each individual student and, well, in my case, someone who wasn’t even a student yet. That really drew me in.”
A first-generation student whose parents are immigrants from Bangladesh, Hassan grew up in the Bronx, New York, knowing that education was the way to improve her life. And when she got to CMC, she wanted to make the most of it.
In addition to working on campus and being a tour guide for prospective students, Hassan has been involved with the CARE Center, CMC’s Mock Trial team, and various research institutes. Through her diverse experiences at CMC, internships, and study abroad in Melbourne, Australia, Hassan’s worldview has grown by leaps and bounds.
From the start, working as a Fellow with the CARE Center, which promotes engaging in dialogue across social barriers, has been especially important to her sense of belonging. “I have felt so welcome and loved in the space since I started,” she said. “And it’s great because as a Fellow, you can do the same for others.”
During her first year at CMC, as a member of the Mock Trial team, Hassan found mentors among the upperclassmen and had additional opportunities for learning and networking when the regional competition was held at CMC. She also earned a Creative Works Fellowship through the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, an opportunity limited to fewer than a dozen students. “I created a photo journal on how transit inequalities in New York subway systems regressed the socioeconomic growth of minority communities,” she said.
Hassan worked in the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies’ Asia Experts Forum, diving into journalism. And as a student assistant with the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, she pursued research on caste and race in South Asia. “That experience helped me manage my own identity,” she said. “I think that was really important and eye-opening, beyond just academics. I feel like I had a personal reward being able to see myself in literature or in history and gaining a new perspective.”
Meanwhile, her internship with Save the Children Action Network, sponsored by the Kravis Opportunity Fund, helped her to recognize how far she has come in developing her interests and discovering future aspirations. Her responsibilities with the Washington, D.C., organization included logistical planning for the Advocacy Summit, a national event for children’s rights advocates.
“I feel like that experience has completely changed how I view careers,” she said. “If you told me before I came to CMC that I would work for Save the Children, I would never have believed it. I underestimated my ability to contribute, but this opened up so many new opportunities.
“For example, now I am interested in human rights and working with a nonprofit or NGO. I am also interested in maybe one day working on Capitol Hill. And I would never have considered the possibility of any of that before CMC.”