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Montgomery College Foundation Welcomes First Student Board Member

For more than 38 years, the Montgomery College Foundation has served and supported students. Beginning July 1, it will have an MC student on its board of trustees, and it welcomes her insight, perspective and direct link to other MC students.

Foundation Board Student Member

Alaa Sharaf

"The entire board is thrilled to welcome our first student member, Alaa Sharaf," said Joyce Matthews, executive director of the foundation. "We know how critical her voice will be and how much we will learn from having a student's perspective. Frankly, we are also certain we will be asking ourselves what took so long.” Board members discussed and recommended last year bringing a student aboard.

Sharaf hopes to help spread the word to fellow students about the support and resources available to them. Having just finished her first year at the College as part of the Montgomery Scholars program as a public health major, she knows first hand how important the foundation is to helping students succeed. A county native and the daughter of Egyptian immigrants, she had received a scholarship from the foundation to help pay for tuition.

“Having a student engaged at the table during important conversations about the foundation’s work will benefit everyone,” Matthews said.

Sharaf has worked and volunteered locally for years and is looking forward to expanding her service through her new role.

It is my goal to make the services provided by the board more accessible for those who need it, and make it common knowledge among other students

“I hope to serve as a voice for the student population and as a bridge between the foundation and the students,” she said. “Over the course of my term [one year] I would like to bring the comments and concerns of the student population directly to the foundation. It is my goal to make the services provided by the board more accessible for those who need it, and make it common knowledge among other students.”

In regular times, working directly on campus, especially with faculty, would be paramount, but in social distancing times, she says, social media will be her go-to resource to reach her peers.

Building strong relationships with the foundation’s board members is also important to her. “They are very experienced and have reached places in their careers that I  aspire to also reach,” Sharaf said. “I look forward to getting to know and learning from my fellow board members over the course of the year.”

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