Aisha Aina Tasso ’23 is a senior boarder from Elizabeth, New Jersey. She is also a devoted leader, performer, musician, and activist, as well as a wonderful peer.
A glowing and compassionate presence on campus, Aina is no stranger to leadership roles at Concord Academy. She was elected by the student body last spring as one of the Community and Equity Student Representatives. In addition to being an Alumni Association Student Representative, Aina is a Co-Head of the Women of Color Alliance, Spanish Club, and Spanish Book Club. Aina also serves as a Cohort mentor and a student tour guide. She noted, “I have really enjoyed giving back to a community that has given me so much.”
Aina is an avid performer and musician. Thus far in her CA career, she has acted in six Mainstage performances. Presently, she is working on her role for the Winter 2023 Mainstage production, Pippin. She noted, “Theater has always been one of my favorite things to do.” Aina has been participating in theater since fourth grade. Aina also plays the drums, piano, and violin. In addition, she partakes in independent music instruction at CA for voice and drums. “Music for me has always been a great stress reliever,” she emphasized. “Music and instruments just give me a different way of communicating.”
Aina spent her junior fall at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL), a semester-away program in Washington, D.C. “It’s probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I loved my time in DC. I loved the people. I loved the faculty.” She later noted, “You learned from the class but you also learned from each other and each other’s experiences.” Aina’s dream is to one day serve on the Supreme Court, become the President, or work in government more broadly. After spending so much time away from school, however, Aina’s transition back to CA felt odd. She said, “It felt like being a freshman again for me, honestly.” Senior year is Aina’s first full year in person at CA as both her freshman and sophomore years were interrupted by COVID-19.
Aina’s commitment to making every individual feel included and welcomed extends beyond the school community. When she returns home, Aina volunteers for Make the Road New Jersey, an immigration advocacy group. She participates in protests and helps out with whatever she can, such as teaching driver theory classes during the pandemic. Aina also works with her mom, who similarly devotes her time to the group, to make lesson plans. Aina described her commitment to advocating for immigrant and human rights, noting how this passion is driven by her experience of growing up in a predominantly immigrant community and seeing how government policies affected the people around her.
Aina is also an attentive student and a valued contributor within the classroom. She mentioned that her favorite class she has taken so far at CA was Emma Storbeck’s US in Latin America research seminar. She loved the class and found herself incredibly passionate about the material. Aina researched how news outlets and the media could be distorted. She noted, “It’s something that has still stuck with me to this day. It makes me analyze how I read the news…what we are told, and how we process that.”
Beyond the classroom walls, Aina also has many hobbies and interests. She loves to bike, write, bake, swim, play Roblox, hang out with friends, and play Just Dance in the Hobson common room. She also enjoys reading books ranging from mysteries to realistic fiction. Aina highly recommends the book The Privileged Poor by Anthony Abraham Jack.
Aina emphasized the importance of living authentically and being true to yourself. She concluded the interview by saying, “We are just so temporary in this world that it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks of you or what you think anyone thinks of you.” Aina is known for her kindness, empathy, and radiant smile. She is an incredible leader both in and outside the CA community, and a delightful person to converse with.