Like many young people, Alina Jafri had trouble finding a role model, until she discovered one in an unlikely place.
As a kid, you usually have a role model or someone you look up to. It's most likely fictional characters from a popular movie franchise or from your favorite story books. This character is someone who inspires you to dream big and makes you feel like you could be just like them.
Growing up, I never had that. No character reflected my story. I was a Pakistani-American girl who had big dreams, aspirations, and all I could find in my movie collection and on my bookshelf were the usual stories of white girls falling in love with their princes, which are great! But I was never fully confident in myself because the stories of girls who look like me were never really acknowledged.
Around my freshman year of high school, I discovered the comic book series of the superhero Ms. Marvel, the story of an out-of-place Pakistani-American girl who turns into the superhero of Jersey City.
Comic books are not exactly the trendiest with teenage girls. In fact I had never opened a comic book until this one but Ms. Marvel was special— she represented me.