When Sadia Khan was in 10th grade, she made a promise to her terminally ill father that, no matter the cost, she’d attend the University of California, Berkeley. The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Khan comes from what she describes as a “very low-income background,” with her father working long shifts as a farm laborer to provide for the family. But as his health declined, she said, her father became concerned that he hadn’t been able to secure the one thing he wanted most for his children: their education.

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