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Bowie Teen Vies For School Board Seat

Bowie resident Raaheela Ahmed, 18, will challenge incumbent Verjeana Jacobs in November.

With a passion for public service and 13 years of experience with the Prince George’s County Public School system, running for a seat on the Board of Education seems to be a natural fit for Bowie resident Raaheela Ahmed.

Yet, Ahmed’s years of experience come not as being a teacher or a parent in the system, but as a former student.

The 18-year-old UMd. student feels like her very recent and direct experience with the school system are what makes her an ideal candidate to represent District 5, , earning her a place on the ballot this November. 

“I think my experience in the school system showed me that the decisions made [by the Board] have a direct effect,” said Ahmed.

Education has always been important to Ahmed, who is as student of the Honors College at UMd., where she is studying biology and business. She graduated from the Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Science and Technology program with above a 4.0. grade-point average. Ahmed also visits with troubled schools in the county to address literacy issues as a Student Presenter with the America Reads America Counts program at UMd.

Ahmed credits her teachers and parents for inspiring her and giving her the confidence to run for office.

“Their confidence in me gave me the ability to do well and succeed throughout my life and through the school system,” she said of her public school teachers and staff.

Her parents were also very supportive of her decision to run for office and have been very involved in her campaign.

In addition to running for school board, volunteering, and being a full-time college student, Ahmed is also the CEO of SendWithMe, and online database that helps connect people who like to send/carry a package from one location to another.

“It’s given me an understanding of how business works and how crucial it is to communicate with people,” said Ahmed of her position with the company.

Communication is a big concern of her constituents, Ahmed said, and something she plans to address if she is elected to the school board in November.

“There is a lack of communication and we need to bridge that gap in order to move forward as a county,” she said.

If elected, Ahmed will also focus on improving school environments that kids are in with regards to safety, increasing parental involvement and improving teacher retention.

Ahmed will face off against the candidate with the second highest number of votes in her district, incumbent and Board of Education Chair Verjeana Jacobs, for the District 5 seat in November. 

Nas I. Afi April 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Congratulations to Raaheela! Nas I. Afi
Bowie20715 April 23, 2012 at 08:38 PM
While I have nothing but respect for Raaheela Ahmed's enthusiasm and obvious intelligence, people should be concerned that the school board could be run, essentially by three teenagers (one of them has hit the wizened age of 20 I believe). This is a school system of more than 120,000 kids and a budget of $1.6 billion. With age comes wisdom and knowledge. As one would not want to be operated on by a first year med student, likewise should one be wary of putting these young people in charge of our kids and our money. There will plenty of time for Raaheela Ahmed. I'm just not sure it's now.
Mike September 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM
She says she has 13 years of experience working with the school system. Thats laughable because its as a student. Her experience started in Kindergarden. I guess if she failed one year that would have given her 14 years experience. LOL
Bowie Citizen October 25, 2012 at 10:41 PM
This has been told many times. Have any politican ever identifed a talented person to run for office in Prince George's county? I can think of any. Six years is a long time. It is time to change and I am voting for Raaheela and had the opportunity to meet with her.
Bowie Citizen October 25, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I see her as the hardest working candidate and did not see Ms. Jacobs in last 6 years even once as a voter.
Bowie20774 November 08, 2012 at 04:01 AM
I'm in agreement with both Bowie Citizen and Bowie20715. There needs to be some working experience, contract experience, money management experience and plain old Life experience to manage a District of this size. However, what we currently have as Board members are NOT cutting the mustard and they all need to be replaced. Our Board members are playing to foot lose and free with the money, leadership and care of our children. Bottom-line, with some of the decisions made by members of our Board, there is no proof they have any more experience, knowledge, education or intellect than this 19 year old. There is an unbelieveable waste of money passing through a system where we still have schools worn down and torn down. Educational programs that are clearly designed to teach kids to pass test versus understand content. Contracts that are geared towards, family members friends and associates that don't even fix anything, save money or benefit the individuals its supports the kids! I dont think the question is, do we want her to to manage our money/system. I think a better question is, what has Ms. Jacobs done for us in the last 6 years and why hasn't someone else stepped to the plate to run against her? My self included. When we fail to be part of the solution, we are part of the problem. Now that Ms. Jacobs is back in office, lets hold her to her responsibility and accountable for increasing the student learning and programs that benefit students not Board Members agendas
Angela November 08, 2012 at 06:28 PM
No Bowie needs a change!!! this young women took the time to visit people in the neighborhood to find out the issue`s that need to be fixed. NEVER ONCE have I seen Ms. Jacobs, why?? Because she doesn`t care at all. it`s another win for her and nothing is being fixed!!! politicians and the school board are greedy and have done for Bowie except rape this city of money!!!! BOWIE paid for thier own auditorium, not the county they wouldn`t give the city the money!!!! They took the baseball teams fundraiser money, only way the county would STOP taking money from the school was to make it incorporated!! Sad very sad!!!! but does anyone think about that??? No!!! This young women did!!!! 35 kids to a class room is unacceptable, so is asking a 1st grader who they are voting for and thier opinion. People really need to do thier homework before voting!!!!!

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