Malik Abdul-Rashid knows what he wants. The soft-spoken 25 year old speaks with the wisdom and ease of someone twice his age. He is focused, dedicated, and inspiring.
Malik is a straight-A student at Cape Fear Community College. He hopes to be an English instructor someday and to earn his PhD in English. Already, Abdul-Rashid spends his spare time helping teach kids to read in Pender County. He and his mother regularly volunteer in a second-grade class.
“I want to be a teacher because I think it is the very best way to give back,” says Abdul-Rashid, “children are our greatest resource.”
Malik is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and has been on the President’s List at CFCC every semester he’s been enrolled. Abdul-Rashid’s dedication to his studies is so evident that he was nominated for the 2012 Governor Robert W. Scott Award. Established in 2004, the Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award was established in honor of the former Governor who served from 1969-1973, and later as President of the North Carolina Community College System. In his nomination letter, Robert Sutton, CFCC Philosophy and Religion instructor, said, “Malik is one of the best students I have had the fortune to teach over the 24 years I have been teaching.”
Abdul-Rashid has high praise his instructors as well. “At CFCC, every faculty and staff member I have encountered has been wonderful. If you’re hard-working, teachers will do whatever they can to help you succeed in the classroom,” he says.
Abdul-Rashid contributes his success to realizing his personal potential and working hard. He says he used to do just the bare minimum to get by. But now, he knows better. Malik says he strives to be the most hard-working person in the room. That mindset has really paid off.
Malik says the most challenging part of school is the balancing act between schoolwork and the rest of life. But he says the key to not getting overwhelmed is to go ahead and get it done. “Don’t procrastinate. Take the time to get your work done when you have the time, so that you’re not knocked off-track by any unforeseen variables,” he advises.
He says small sacrifices like choosing to do schoolwork over going to the movies make a difference. “You can always skip a movie,” Abdul-Rashid says, “it will eventually come out on DVD. Make little sacrifices to achieve big goals. There are lots of people who wish they were in your position. Turn the motor on and get going!”
“I’m at CFCC to work hard and to better myself,” says Abdul-Rashid. “I think the college experience is like a shoe. You have to find the one that fits you, and CFCC is a great fit for me.” To his fellow students, Malik stresses, “Be proud of who you are and where you are. Take full advantage of where you are. Take pride in it. Never shortchange yourself”
Although Malik dreams of the future, he stresses the importance of living in the “now”. He says it’s essential to appreciate where you are in life, and to be thankful for every moment. He adds, “Don’t suck on the lemons life gives you. Make lemonade.”
Malik is on-track to graduate in May of 2013. He says that when he leaves CFCC, he hopes to leave a legacy of what it means to be a great student, and that his hard work will inspire others. He wants people to know that if he can do it, they can do it. He wants people to see him as a success story. Cape Fear Community College certainly already does.