Student Perspective: Aysha Abdul Shahid, DeRoy Scholar

Crossing the Ocean in Pursuit of Her Dream, International Student Receives Walsh Scholarship

Moving away from home to start college can be difficult for many students. Imagine how challenging it may be when you move thousands of miles across the ocean to another country.

That’s exactly what Aysha Abdul Shahid did.

At 17, Abdul Shahid moved to Michigan from her home city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, leaving behind family and friends, to start a new chapter of her life and pursue her college degree. She began her educational journey at Macomb Community College to study accounting.

“It was a whole new world, very different from where I come from,” she said. “From the culture to the climate and language, it was difficult, but I was excited to begin a new journey. I am very happy that I moved here because this is the land of opportunity where I can pursue my dream.”

Why Walsh?

This fall, Abdul Shahid transferred from Macomb to Walsh to complete her bachelor of accountancy. She chose Walsh because of the high CPA pass rate among graduates, flexibility to attend online and in the evenings, and her positive experiences with the career services and advising teams.

Abdul Shahid described her transfer experience as easy and flexible, thanks to her Walsh advisor. “She was amazing and helped me understand what to take and what would transfer,” she said, “I knew I was in good hands.”

While working toward her degree, Abdul Shahid has also expanded her professional experience in a clerical role at Macomb and working as a lab assistant in Walsh’s Finance Lab.

Her experience and education are helping Abdul Shahid work toward her goal of becoming a certified public accountant. She would eventually like to have her own business, helping international students like herself with tax preparation and mentoring them through academic and other challenges they may face.

A Life-Changing Experience

Among her proudest achievements, Abdul Shahid was awarded the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation Scholarship. This full tuition academic scholarship will help finish her degree in accountancy at Walsh by eliminating the financial burden that often comes with being a full-time student and working.

The DeRoy Testamentary Foundation provides funding support for programs and projects that improve the quality of life and well-being of people in the community. It was named in honor of Helen DeRoy, a renowned philanthropist, automotive businesswoman and community leader in metro Detroit.

“This scholarship is everything to me,” Abdul Shahid explained. “I don’t have to worry about the financial burden that comes with being an international student. I will have the freedom to focus on my studies, pursue my career goals, and get involved at Walsh without wondering how to pay for my courses.”

Abdul Shahid looks forward to joining the International Student Organization and the Accounting and Taxation Student Organization. “It will help me build my leaderships skills and meet new people,” she said.

With a busy school and work schedule, Abdul Shahid’s free time is limited. When she does have time to herself, she enjoys painting, calligraphy, long drives and exploring, baking, and spending time with her sister and nephew. She also recently shared her story with an audience of more than 200 at the Leadership Awards Dinner, Walsh’s annual scholarship fundraising event.

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