HUMANS OF THE U: NOMAN KHAN

“I got my American citizenship exactly a day before my birthday this year. It was one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever gotten. Right after the ceremony, I took my citizenship certificate and ran to the passport office. Then I ran straight over to the elections office to register myself. The guy was like, ‘Are you crazy, why so much energy?’ He didn’t know how long I had to wait for this day.

In 1999, my parents applied for citizenship with my uncle as a sponsor. For 12 years we were just sitting and waiting for a visa to come to the U.S. You don’t know if you’re ever going to make it to the U.S. It’s not like we were having a hard time; in Pakistani culture family is very close, and we’d hang out every weekend and have huge dinners. But when I came here in 2012, I fell in love with Utah.

There are so many opportunities that we—I can say we now that I’m American—just have to look. I did a Hinkley internship in D.C, attending senate and congressional hearings and writing briefs about them. I learned firsthand how the hill works, and that’s one reason that I want to run for office at some point. I want to be that person building a bridge between the U.S. and Pakistan. I love Utahns, they’ve given me so much and it’ll be a way for me to repay them.

This country is great, and a lot of people gave up their lives and their time to make it what it is today. It inspires a person like me to do more. Whatever negative influences come at us, we’re good at doing the positive thing to counter it, but we need to do even more.”

—Noman Khan, media relations & content marketing, U of U Health

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.