Nursing major Mariem Moussawi considers herself lucky to be able to get to know her peers on a level many do not. As a Student Ambassador at Washtenaw Community College, Moussawi crosses paths with many WCC students before they sign up for their first class or line up to purchase their first textbook.
“A young woman I just met is working through a lot of issues right now,” Moussawi said. “This job is rewarding, but it can be draining at times because I genuinely care, and I want to help everyone as much as I can. Students open up to me about whatever’s going on in their lives.”
Part of Moussawi’s responsibilities include leading campus tours, educating students about the registration process, as well as WCC’s various programs and extracurricular activities, and most importantly, making everyone feel welcome the minute they step foot onto campus. It’s a privilege she doesn’t take lightly.
The Ann Arbor native credits her faith and upbringing for her empathy and compassion toward others. There’s a saying in the Quran that states: “Love for your friend, what you would love for yourself.” This saying has been a personal mantra throughout Moussawi’s life.
“Islam, as a whole, is about love, mercy, peace and being selfless,” she said. “The significance of doing good is that God will give you back in this life what you gave to others.”
As the youngest of four children, Moussawi says she received a lot of love growing up, so she would like to do the same for others by becoming a pediatric nurse.
“I’ve always wanted to help people. I’d like to work at orphanages and hospitals globally, starting in Iraq with the millions of orphans there and the lack of health facilities,” she said. “I want to focus on helping the needy. Unfortunately, children and orphans are often forgotten.”
Moussawi eventually will transfer to Eastern Michigan University, where she will earn a bachelor’s in nursing. But it doesn’t stop there. Keeping with her family’s tradition, she also plans to earn master’s and doctoral degrees. Both her parents are civil engineers and between the two of them, they’ve completed two bachelor’s and five master’s degrees, one MBA, one doctorate, as well as post-doctoral research.
Moussawi grew up seeing the world, traveling to England, Germany, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, among others. When visiting local orphanages and hospitals, Moussawi and her family do what they can to improve the lives of the people they meet. It can be something as significant as providing families with food and clothes, or as simple as spending a couple hours getting to know them.
Giving back is a selfless act and the work is often strenuous. So, why does Moussawi do it? “I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces and making them feel important,” she said.
Although Moussawi will be meeting new faces in the near future, she’s certain that WCC will always feel like a second home.
“I love it here because of the diversity of the campus and how friendly everyone is,” she said. “In order to thrive and be successful, you need to be surrounded by a strong community. Every student wants to be able to turn to their right or left and see somebody there in their corner. I have that at WCC.”
By PRINCESS GABBARA
Writer, Public Relations