Right before my last year at Montgomery College (MC), my father asked me about my transfer plans. Being the indecisive individual that I am, I was unable to answer because I had no idea what institution I wanted to transfer to or what I wanted to major in. My father started asking me questions about my overall interests. I told him I wanted a science-based career that allowed me to travel and to improve the quality of life of for individuals who are less fortunate than myself. Together we started browsing majors similar to my educational and career objectives and eventually found the Public Health Sciences (PHS) program offered by the University of Maryland, College Park at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). I was excited to apply to the PHS program at USG because my two older brothers had graduated from UMCP’s International Business program at USG. Thus, I went to the USG Open House to get more information about the PHS program and the USG campus. I decided to apply to the PHS program at USG because I enjoyed the smaller campus which allows for increased academic support, a more engaged student body, and the ability to build professional relationships that extend beyond the classroom.
Being part of the Public Health Sciences family at USG is preparing me for a successful future in the field of public health. For instance, I am the treasurer of the Students Engaged in Public Health Club, which is a student-organized club that is dedicated to improving well-being, livelihood, and the environment within the community and around the world. Recently, we collaborated with the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy to organize a Civic Engagement Event about vaccine hesitancy. I also had the opportunity to revive the USG Futball Club, which allows me to promote healthy lifestyles among students in the USG community through the power of soccer. In addition to being active in student organizations, I am a USG Student Ambassador and I also work at the Center for Academic Success. Both of these jobs are helping me develop leadership and communication skills that are necessary for a career in public health.
After graduating from the Public Health Sciences program, I plan on continuing my education in public health; the more education I receive the more influence I will have on health. One day, I would like to focus on improving health systems within Palestine. Since I am an American–Palestinian, I want to make a difference within the Palestinian community and improve overall quality of life among the population. Being a Public Health Sciences major, I know I can make a difference in the world by improving overall health.