HFCC students nominated for USA Today scholarship

Photo courtesy of Henry Ford Community College

Henry Ford Community College Honors Program Director Nabeel Abraham (left) and HFCC President Gail Mee (right), pose with All-USA Today Community College Academic Scholarship Competition nominees Neam Alazawi (second from left) and Batool Saad.

DEARBORN — The Henry Ford Community College Honors Program recently nominated freshmen Neam Alazawi and Batool Saad of Dearborn for the national All-USA Today Community College Academic Scholarship Competition.

This award is conferred upon students through the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, an organization that provides opportunities for the development of leadership and service among other opportunities. Through this competition, 20 students throughout the United States earn selection to the national team and receive a $2,500 stipend and medallion.

Additionally, USA Today newspaper features student winners and are presented at Phi Theta Kappa’s President’s Breakfast held during the annual convention of the American Association of Community Colleges Convention April 11 in New Orleans.

For Nabeel Abraham, director of HFCC’s Honors Program, the nomination of Alazawi and Saad comes as no great surprise.

“These are two remarkable young women who are exceptional representatives of HFCC and our nomination for this honor,” Abraham said.

Alazawi, a biology major, holds a 4.0 grade point average and has served as a peer mentor at HFCC since August. Her family moved to the United States from Iraq two years ago. In addition to volunteering at HFCC, she is a refugee assistant for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, a member of the Arab American Women’s Business Council and a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan.

She also helps her younger siblings with their school work and attends their parent-teacher conferences along with her parents to help them communicate more comfortably in English with teachers.

“My newness to the country inspired me to attend a community college where I can develop advanced skills in composition, speech and independent research before transferring to a university,” Alazawi said. “When I graduated from
high school, I felt that community college could help me with the transition to a university. I chose HFCC to give me time for cultural adaptation before expanding my education further.

“Another attraction was HFCC’s Honors Program, which is academically challenging and structured with faculty mentors. This program gave me a chance to meet people with the same aspirations and goals as me while also helping me find transfer opportunities and scholarships.”

Saad, who also holds a 4.0 GPA, is also a peer mentor for the College. She also served as captain for her Relay for Life Team in 2010 and volunteered for the Make A Difference Day 2010 and at the civic gala for the Lebanese International Business Council in 2010. She is also founder and president of the HFCC Amnesty International Campus Group and a columnist for the HFCC student newspaper Mirror News.

Saad said her intentions were to attend a large university in Michigan. She received acceptance into several major
universities, but found HFCC to be more affordable, closer to home and full of opportunities that could help her achieve more in her future.

“When a letter from the Honors Program at HFCC arrived in the mail, I applied,” she said. “When I learned of all the opportunities and scholarships that come with being in the Honors Program, I decided that my choice had been made for me. I am always going home and telling my family about all the unbelievable things that have happened to me while attending HFCC, which allows me to measure up to my two older sisters who have received scholarships to a university.”

For Alazawi and Saad, their goals are within reach. After her transition from HFCC and graduation from a university with a bachelor’s degree, Alazawi hopes to attend a graduate school where she can pursue her dream of becoming a physician.

Saad also holds some lofty expectations of herself following graduation from HFCC. Her plans include attending a four-year institution to earn her undergraduate degree and then entering law school with the hopes of becoming an international humanitarian lawyer.

To learn more about the HFCC Honors Program, go to http://www.hfcc.edu/about_us/honors_program.asp, or contact Abraham at (313) 845-6460 or nabraham@hfcc.edu.