What makes you a Difference Maker?
I am a Difference Maker because I demonstrated leadership and academic success throughout my years at UM-Dearborn. Over the years, I realized the impact one can have on an individual by merely providing advice or sharing experiences. Thus, I dedicate my time to mentor and guide incoming freshmen and others to connect them with campus resources and community engagement opportunities to further their academic, professional, and personal success. It is an absolute pleasure to help serve others in my community, and this is something I continue to do through the various roles I partake in my life.
Tell us about your leadership experience.
I work as a student assistant for First Year Programming at the Office of Student Life (OSL), where I specifically help manage the CRUISE to Success program. Initially, before receiving this position, I began working with OSL as a student facilitator, in which I helped co-facilitate a session of the program. The CRUISE program aims to connect first-year students with Wolverines, campus resources, community engagement opportunities, and academic success strategies. As a student facilitator, I served as a mentor to help present the information needed to support students’ success. Now, as a student assistant, I manage the entire program where I develop workshops to train student facilitators and work to ensure the program runs smoothly and successfully. I also worked on the Office Management team for OSL where I supervised student organization’s marketing projects by handling department promotion requests via VictorsLink and more. Additionally, I was a site leader working with Alternative Breaks in 2020, where I served as a point of contact for community partners and lead a trip to Memphis, Tennessee. During the duration of the trip, we actively participated in direct projects and activities aimed to support locals in the community socially and economically. Lastly, I am a board member in the Salam Youth Committee at a local mosque I attend. As a member of this organization, I was given the opportunity to organize and plan visits to a nursing home, orphanage center, blind center, and homeless shelter. This committee allows me to serve and inspire undeserved minorities through advocacy, service, and provide good quality care to those in need. Ultimately, all of these experiences taught me how to effectively manage and work collaboratively on a team, engage with people from diverse backgrounds, and how to adapt to changing environment.
What is your dream career or goal?
I aspire to become a general dentist. As a daughter of two Yemeni immigrants who are bilingual, I had the opportunity to experience good communication in both languages—my parents’ native language of Arabic as well as English. When communication gaps exist, it is necessary to find ways to minimize that gap by building a rapport with others and using whatever means necessary. This may mean utilizing the skill of speaking a second language (in my case, Arabic) as well as the universal language of smiling and showing care and concern through facial language and other means. Therefore, I hope that by becoming a dentist, I will utilize my skills to educate, treat and serve diverse groups of people including underserved minorities to ensure exceptional care and support is given to achieve full satisfaction.
What is your most defining moment?
My most defining moment at UM-Dearborn would be my time working at the Office of Student Life. I could not have asked for a better team than OSL. The professional staff and paraprofessionals are so welcoming and amazing people to work with who have become my friends over the years. I met so many wonderful people and created memorable experiences with everyone. Every time our team got together it would feel like we are one big happy family. I am so grateful to have been able to work with OSL because it encouraged me to jump out of my comfort zone, and gave me the opportunity to mentor and guide students on campus, and overall, create an impact this world.