Hafizur Rahman, a senior at Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine, located on the city’s east side, is excited these days after learning he is the recipient of the Jean Fairfax Scholarship. As its recipient, Rahman will attend the University of Michigan this fall, armed with a four-year tuition-free scholarship.
“When I heard that I’d won this scholarship, I was in shock,” said Rahman, who applied last October. “I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting to win it. I thought I didn’t have a chance.”
According to the scholarship’s guidelines, the Jean Fairfax Scholarship is awarded to exceptional high school seniors in underserved school districts. Students who receive the four-year full tuition scholarship must enroll at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Students awarded the scholarship must have good grades, participate in various extracurricular activities, hold leadership positions, and be actively involved in service activities that empower underserved communities.
Rahman, who has a 4.05 GPA, which factors honor and AP (advanced placement) classes taken, fits the criterion of the Jean Fairfax Scholarship. He wrote and submitted three exceptional essays, as well as had several letters of recommendation written on his behalf. His participation and leadership requirements include serving as vice president of the school’s National Honor Society, as well as president of the Key Club, a student-led organization making a positive impact at Ben Carson High School and in city communities. Additionally, Rahman is a member of the school’s Red Cross Club, and co-founder of High School 101, an organization created to help students succeed in all aspects of the high school experience.
Rahman also serves with the Youth Advisory Committee, a city-wide youth organization created to help implement and fund programs to build and foster youth leadership in local communities. He renders leadership to the organization’s grant and assessment team.
This fall, Rahman plans to major in biochemistry at U of M. He also has a strong interest in becoming a periodontist.
“I’m still deciding what major is best for me when I attend the University of Michigan,” said Rahman. “I’m receiving information and advice from students attending U of M right now, as well as receiving advice from counselors and mentors.”
Whatever major and career Rahman decides to pursue, he is appreciative of the education received at Benjamin Carson High School and Medicine, a Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) educational institution.
“At Ben Carson, they want to challenge you, and they want you to challenge yourself to be the best,” said Rahman. “They don’t put learning limits on students. Teachers are able and love interacting with students in ways to bring out the best. The school provides a great environment for learning.”
Rahman is also appreciative of the school’s teachers.
“All of our teachers are outstanding,” Rahman said. “However, Ms. Shannon Waite, my 10th grade English and creative writing teacher, creates a very productive learning environment for her students to excel. I learned so much from her, which helped when it was time for me to write the essays needed for the Jean Fairfax Scholarship. Shannon Waite challenged me and the other students to express ourselves through creative writing.”
“Hafizur is an outstanding student,” said Waite, who has taught at Ben Carson for four years. “He was always inquisitive, and at the top of my class when I had him as a student. He’s involved in a lot at school and in the community. Between his intelligence, drive and how involved he is, the University of Michigan felt he was an excellence choice for the Jean Fairfax Scholarship. I know Hafizur is going to do great things. I’m excited to see what he accomplishes as he continues to grow at U of M and beyond.”