Areaj Mubarak received the Jackson County Alumni Scholarship. Mubarak is a freshman specializing in biomedical science with plans of becoming a physician assistant.
Why did you choose SIU? I chose to go to SIU because I wanted to be a part of a very diverse student population. Not only would I belong to a university that holds a wide spectrum of qualities, I also knew I would be involved in one of the greatest research universities in the nation. This would greatly benefit me since I belong in the College of Science– an area that expects quite a bit of research! As I study farther into the semester, I realize that I didn’t make a mistake coming to SIU– I really do belong here.
How did you feel when you received notification that you received the scholarship? When I was notified about being awarded the scholarship, I was ecstatic. Alongside benefiting me financially, the scholarship award itself really ignites motivation to be great.
What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals? The scholarship is an opportunity to thrive in reaching my goals. My ideal future is to become a medical professional without borders or a physician assistant specializing in emergency medicine.
What inspired you to choose your area of study? Ever since I was a child, I’ve been passionate about helping others and volunteering in any way possible. To have my career be all about helping people, especially at a dire time, fulfills my vision of being able to give back to the community in the greatest way possible— having a solution to a problem.
What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I’m most proud of the business I was able to run as a young entrepreneur. I ran a business called “Areaj’s Cool Jewelz”, selling hand-crafted jewelry, recycled art, and an assortment of hand-painted fridge magnets. Although the business rooted from an AT project in my 4th grade year, I was able to make it more than what it was. I made business cards, I promoted my business to my teachers, friends, and family, and I sold my products every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market. A little while later, I was invited to be a part of a Biz-Kids episode, where I was able to promote my small business even more, and learn so much more about running a business, and being smart with money.
Do you have a message you would like shared with your donor?
I am beyond grateful for the scholarship. Due to your generosity, I am able to focus on what’s most important—learning. I promise to work to my greatest potential and eventually give back in the future; both as a medical professional, and maybe even a donor!
Hear more from scholarship donors and recipients from our SIU Academic Scholarship Brunch in this video.