You have to look beyond her official freshman year to find Fatima Abdallah’s deepest roots in the UM-Dearborn community. As a 15-year-old high school student, she was already dual-enrolled at the university. And she even became a regular face at student events, including on-campus social justice rallies and meetings of Student Government and the Arab Student Union.
When Abdallah arrived on campus full-time, her involvement only grew, with memberships in several student organizations, and studies that included a finance major and a minor in political science. But she also discovered her own path included carving out ways to make an impact beyond campus life.
“While I always maintained a good balance between academics and student involvement, I do believe that you can only get so much out of the classes, and the rest is left for experience to fill,” Abdallah said. “Admitting to yourself that the next step is getting out there is a big deal. That was the moment when I became a Difference Maker.”
Abdallah credits her professors and mentors with helping her find opportunities to nurture those instincts. That included a Washington D.C. internship with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Civil Rights; and a follow-up internship with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, where Abdallah worked to address constituent issues around veteran affairs and immigration assistance.
Fresh off a December 2017 graduation—where she delivered the student commencement address—Abdallah is now chasing her next set of dreams. She hopes law school is in her near future, where she plans to focus on finance law so she can “enact social change in the corporate world.”