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Stony Brook student wins $10,000 Scholarship from Sallie Mae

The 2023 recipient of The Bridging the Dream Scholarship, Mohamed Adam. This scholarship, provided by Sallie Mae in conjunction with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, aids eligible student in affording a college education. PHOTO COURTESY OF MOHAMED ADAM.

Mohamed Adam, a freshman political science major at Stony Brook University, has been selected for a competitive scholarship that will allow him to cover his college costs with less financial stress.

The Bridging the Dream Scholarship, offered by the charitable arm of private student loan organization Sallie Mae in conjunction with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, provides eligible students with up to $10,000 in funds to help them access higher education. Adam was selected from a pool of over 1,100 applicants.

“Once I submitted all my applications through the Common [Application] I was applying to a bunch of scholarships, just because I wanted to pay for college,” Adam said in an interview with The Statesman. “So I saw the Thurgood Marshall [College Fund] Scholarship and decided to do it, like, ‘Why not?’ I actually think I applied to it the day before, so that was crazy.”

Adam credited his achievement to the levels of academic involvement he displayed in high school.

“I was very involved in my high school, I think that was one of the main reasons I was selected,” Adam said. “I’m also very passionate about everything that I do.”

Before arriving at Stony Brook this semester, Adam was able to participate in an internship program through Bank of America, where he was given the opportunity to meet and network with influential lawmakers in Washington, D.C., as well as work for a nonprofit that assists troubled youth and the elderly.

The Bridging the Dream Scholarship program was established in 2021 as a three-year-long partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The program is set to award a total of $750,000 to high school seniors to help with college costs.

Caron Jackson, corporate communications manager for Sallie Mae, said that the idea for the scholarship originated from noticing that many students and families struggled to find scholarships when assessing how they would pay for college.

“Consistently we have seen that 40% or more of families of students do not know where to access scholarships,” Jackson said in an interview with The Statesman. “We understand that scholarships can open doors for so many students and time and time again, we found that so many people are not aware of where they can find scholarships, [or] how to apply.”

In addition, the scholarship program has a separate arm that exclusively works to provide funds for graduate students. While the program is reliant upon the two organizations agreeing to continue the partnership once the program’s contract expires, Jackson doesn’t predict the program will halt anytime soon.

“We are coming up to our last year, 2024, but I have a feeling we are going to continue because we’ve had so much success,” she remarked.

In the future, Adam hopes to either join into the business industry or become an immigration lawyer, inspired by his family’s background.

“My parents are immigrants, so I have a lot of respect for immigrants, especially because the immigrant story in America is a struggle,” Adam said. “But it’s also beaut[iful] in a sense, like a full circle. My parents came here as immigrants and here I am trying to become an immigration attorney.”

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About the Contributor
Sky Crabtree, Assistant News Editor
Sky Crabtree is an Assistant News Editor for The Statesman and a sophomore studying journalism and political science. He joined the paper in the spring of 2023 as a news reporter and was promoted at the end of the same semester. Outside of The Statesman, you can catch him reporting on WUSB's weekly news show and as a member of the Stony Brook Media Group.
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