The aspirations of future medical lawyer Aileen Kalani


Kalani has lived in numerous countries throughout the years, ranging from Iran to Austria.

By Kaylee Ahuatzi, Reporter

8:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 7: Aileen Kalani came in for her interview wearing a dark grey, cropped shirt with low-waist jeans and black Nike shoes. Her brown hair hung in a neat, low ponytail with some strands of hair dusting the sides of her face. Her dark brown eyes welcomed me as I showed her the Journalism lab, where I was about to ask her about herself.

Aileen Kalani is currently a senior at WCCHS; in the fall, she worked as one of the football team’s managers.

What kind of person is Aileen? Many describe her as reliable, consistent, responsible, and open-minded. Even Aileen herself said, “I’m an interesting person, and there’s a lot to know about me.”

As the oldest child of three, Aileen lives at home with her sister, Melina, and her baby brother, Ryan. She was born in Iran: her mom is Iranian, while her dad is from Australia. As a child, Aileen moved around frequently. First, she moved to Australia as a toddler, then she went back to Iran for less than a month because her maternal grandfather, Hamid Asa, was sick and dying. Following his death, Aileen’s family stayed in Turkey for a few weeks before they ended up living in Vienna for about six months. After those six months in Vienna, around 2016, the family finally moved to the United States.

While moving so many times during her childhood must have been difficult, Aileen was a very active child. She enjoyed many hobbies, including volleyball, tennis, and boxing. Aileen tried volleyball for her mom, Neda Asa, who was a volleyball champ in the 2000’s back in Iran. As Neda handed me a plate of food she said, “That night we won, it was one of the best feelings ever, knowing that my daughter was giving it a shot to my favorite sport made me proud.” Aileen also took on the role of being a model, booking professional shoots like Janie and Jack and many other companies at the age of seven. Unfortunately, she stopped halfway through her freshman year because the agency was too far and other agencies wanted her to travel but due to school she couldn’t. She also participated in dance and cheerleading, although quit both when she started high school because of a knee injury: during cheer, Aileen acted as a flier, but had to stop when she busted her knee.

Baby Aileen with family; her grandfather inspired her to pursue a career in law. (Photo by Aileen Kalani )

Another hobby Aileen enjoyed until she moved to the United States was karate. In fact, she achieved a black belt in karate. So all in all, throughout her childhood she was an incredibly active and busy kid that has so much to be proud of with all the achievements she received in her early years.

More recently Aileen has become a football manager at West Chicago Community High School.

A few other things she likes to do are drawing, sewing and shopping. She also likes doing volunteer work, one of the places she volunteered at was a food pantry in West Chicago. As readers can see, she loves staying involved and trying out new things.

Ever since Aileen was a young child, she dreamed about being in the FBI or becoming a lawyer. During her trip back to Iran in 2016, she realized some of the things that were going on with her family. She watched as her sick grandfather passed away while trying to deal with a legal case so he could move to the United States to get better healthcare. Regrettably, her grandfather did not have a good lawyer to help him out. She also has two uncles who are stuck in Turkey because they do not have someone to help with their legal cases. Now that her future is right around the corner, Aileen has decided to be a medical lawyer to help others, like her relatives, achieve their dreams of coming to the United States.

Aileen plans to start college right after high school. She will attend the College of DuPage to earn her associate’s degree, and will then transfer to the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently resides with her parents but plans to move out with her best friend sometime near the end of April 2022.

Kalani with teammates in the athletic hallway, celebrating a victory (Photo courtesy of Aileen Kalani).

Neda, Aileen’s mom has also said, “I love knowing that my baby is grown up, knowing that she has planned everything out and knows what she wants makes me feel very proud.”

Aileen is always up for a challenge, especially when it comes to challenging herself. Aileen’s maternal grandmother, Saham Khamisi also said, “Aileen is one of the best people you can ever have around. She always keeps the conversation going and has the best new ideas. She is very stubborn but it will help her in her career as a medical attorney.”

Although Aileen can be stubborn, she works to improve the world around her. She loves proving to everyone that she can do a task and that she will. Aileen always makes sure to stick to her point and prove it, demonstrating her persuasive skills. At the same time, her open-minded nature makes her an enjoyable person to converse with.