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BHS Homecoming Court and spectators celebrated Mahnoor Ahmad (in Blue)as crowned Homecoming Queen. / Laura Austin Photo

Ahmad crowned Homecoming Queen

Burroughs High School Emma Kimbler –  For Burroughs senior Mahnoor Ahmad, making the walk down the 50-yard line Friday night to be crowned 2022 Homecoming Queen was an unexpected journey — one she did not expect to make.

  “Even my family didn’t think I would win,” she said.   

The Homecoming court, top three, and queen are all voted on by the senior class. This year Ahmad joined fellow seniors Zoe Stanford and Hope Urich in the Top Three.   

Newly crowned BHS Homecoming Queen Mahnoor Ahmad receives her crown as her proud father looks on. / Laura Austin

In her traditional hijab, Ahmad defies the stereotype of a Homecoming queen. At the same time, she exhibits many of the qualities that make her a natural choice. 

“I am involved in a lot of activities at school and I try to be a kind and inclusive person,” she said. “Because of the struggles I’ve faced, I always make sure to not turn a blind eye towards those who have similar experiences.” 

Shelby Keehan, a fellow Homecoming Court honoree, was not surprised at Ahmad’s selection. 

“She’s extremely sweet, kind, and funny, and she always has her friends’ backs,” said Keehan. 

Ahmad has been a leader at Burroughs in many different areas. She is president of three clubs, a Blockbuster co-editor, participates in sports, and played in the school’s orchestra. 

Ahmad says being a public figure in these positions has helped her educate many members of the Burroughs community on Ahmad’s beliefs and choices, yet many students still don’t understand the challenges that she faces every day. 

“When I found out I made Top Three, I was so shocked and excited,” Ahmad said. “It is really important to have representation, and I hope I’m able to open doors for other minorities and show them that the impossible is very possible.” 

Getting to this point in Ahmad’s life has not been easy. Ahmad’s parents are immigrants from Pakistan and had to learn the language and customs of the United States soon after their arrival to America. Some aspects of American culture have been introduced to Ahmad’s parents in recent months.

“They had no clue what Homecoming Court was,” Ahmad said. “I had to sit with them and explain the process of being voted in as a member of the court.” Ahmad’s parents share in Mahnoor’s excitement of being on the Homecoming Court and preparing for the night of coronation.

Ahmad hopes she can be a role model herself. In May, she began teaching a class to young Muslim girls (ages 4-14) for two hours a day. 

“I wanted them to know that they are not alone in Ridgecrest, and that their faith is very important, regardless of being different. I tried to encourage them to love their faith,” said Ahmad, who recalled some of her own struggles growing up.  

Now, she wants to tell young Muslim women to be comfortable with who they are.