Teenager's key to success: Prepare and work hard

Published: Saturday, July 21 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

"I know that some people would say that I don't have to, but I know that I have to. It is something that I know in my heart that I need to do and it just so happens that it came to me when I was 18. It came to Joseph Smith at 14 or 15 and that is even younger than me," she said, reflecting her faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"I don't know if I can change as many lives as he did, but I can only hope that I can change peoples' lives for the better and I think it is accumulation of my academic ability, but more my ability to work hard and also my love of people and talking to them. It doesn't matter the language or the culture. I just love learning about them," she said.

Weaknesses into strengths

Her parents suggested at a young age that she pursue being a pediatrician, but she first dismissed the idea.

It wasn't until last year that she started embracing the idea of becoming a doctor.

"I kinda feel that is the right thing to do, but all my life I haven't wanted to do it," she said. "It is what will bring satisfaction."

She was influenced by her father to love the things that she dislike and be successful, happy, fulfilled and satisfied with the choice.

"And that is what medicine will bring me," she said.

She said she learned to turn her weaknesses into strengths from her father, as he turned a strong dislike for mathematics into his career.

Tariq a native of Pakistan began working at McDonald's when he first arrived in the United States. He is now a professor at the University of Utah in the Business College.

When her mother Yvonne Mughal immigrated from Germany she was washing dishes in a German restaurant. She now has a master's degree in accounting from the University of Utah.

"If both of my parents can get master's degrees — my dad has two and my mom has one — both of them could go through that much schooling with English as my dad's fourth language and my mom's second language, they could still read those text books and still get good grades, I know I can do it," she said. "And I guess that pushed me to show that I can do it too."

Anisa, who enjoys outdoor activities, singing, composing and arranging music, might have been involved in too many extra curricular activities growing up, her dad said.

"But, I don't regret not being the most popular kid or not being homecoming queen because the things that I sacrificed and what I have gone through are much more valuable then what could have been," Anisa said.

She took a combined 14 Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes during high school and on volleyball game days she would study in the locker room.

"I still pride myself that I never went to bed after 11 p.m. on a school night," Anisa said.

She would also go to seminary, waking up at 5 a.m. to attend the early morning classes.

"It was so hard, and I missed a couple of (young women's activities), but I never missed church unless I was sick," she said.

Church influences

Her father says it takes a village to raise a child. Anisa's village is filled with members of the LDS Church.

Mughal comes from a tradition of Mormon pioneers.

Her mother is fourth generation Mormon. Her great-grandparents joined the church between the first and second world wars in Germany.

An intellectually and spiritually stimulating atmosphere has been a significant factor in her development, according to her dad.

One of her influences in the church was a leader in the church's young women's program who taught her words that became her motto:

" 'No limits', and I think that is something that describes what I have done for the past couple of years. Not doubting what I can do and just going for it," she said.

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