Lamya Butt

Dubai, UAE

Lamya  Butt

Throughout her education, Lamya has experienced many disruptions that she and her family have worked hard to overcome. Though Lamya herself was born in Dubai, her family are originally from Pakistan. When she was 9 years old, the 2013 financial crisis caused her father to lose his job in Dubai, forcing the family to move back to Pakistan temporarily and enrol Lamya in a local school where standards were low. Fortunately, this meant that from then on, Lamya never took good education for granted. When her family returned to Dubai four months later, she pursued learning with a zest, engaging in class discussions, taking leadership roles, and reaching the top of her class. Her family has continued to face financial hardship and a struggle to stay in Dubai, but with the help of a scholarship from her school – in recognition of her contributions as a student and to society – Lamya has been able to continue there.  

Throughout her schooling, Lamya has used her experience to continuously develop both herself and others. She has represented over 1600 students as Head Girl; helped tutor students for Maths and Economics; founded the school’s newspaper and led 40 other student contributors  as Editor; organized and managed Dubai Scholars’ largest inter-school Model United Nations, with 140+ delegates; and was named a winner in the SHE awards from Ladies in Business Magazine Global. She is also the Founder and CEO of a youth initiative called Resilient Together, which works with international philanthropic organizations to provide ICT devices for 20,000 UAE students forced into distance learning by COVID – work that has received coverage and attention in the UAE’s Khaleej Times. 

Lamya has received the highest possible grades at IGCSE in seven subjects and is currently predicted the highest possible grades in AS Level Maths, Economics, Psychology, and Accounting. Currently, she also serves as a Research Assistant for NYU Political Science Professor Joan Barcelo on a project studying political transitions, and helps the Government of Pakistan and UN Women Pakistan to outline policy briefs that will increase education and training for women and marginalized communities.  

Lamya feels that winning the Global Student Prize would change her life. In terms of university study, she wishes to pursue a Political Science major. She would use the prize to fund her final year of high school and then her university education, removing the burden from her parents. However, she would also invest a proportion of the money into Resilient Together – to buy proper equipment for her growing podcast, expand into storytelling via video platforms, develop the curriculum, and pay her student instructors for the hard work they put into implementing courses.