“I always want to expand my horizons and challenge myself.”
When second-year student Inayah Abdulmateen talks about her academic and career aspirations, it’s hard not to feel inspired by her drive.
A self-described average student in high school, Abdulmateen is one of the most active and engaged members of the MiraCosta College community. In addition to serving as a Student Ambassador
for the college and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Associated Student Government, Inayah is co-president of the Black Student Union.
On any given day this past semester, Abdulmateen could be found juggling a full course load with her extracurricular commitments: planning the Annual United Black Student Conference
, preparing for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges General Assembly, and much more.
“It’s definitely hard to manage my time, but I enjoy every minute of it
especially when looking back on how different my life is now compared to high school,” explained Abdulmateen.
Two years ago, Abdulmateen was like most high school students; unsure of what to do next. She knew she wanted to become a lawyer, but she didn’t know what steps would make it happen. That’s when she decided to take a cue from her family’s experiences.
“My mother’s pathway to success always stuck with me and really guided my own academic journey,” shared Abdulmateen. “The same goes for my older sister.”
When Abdulmateen was in elementary school, she watched as her mother enrolled in the community college system before transferring to a university and moving up in her career. Similarly, Abdulmateen’s sister studied at MiraCosta College and found success within the welcoming campus community.
After seeing how much success they had, Abdulmateen decided that MiraCosta College presented the perfect opportunity to get a solid foundation before enrolling at a four-year university.
“My mother always taught me to never let anything stop me,” shared Abdulmateen. That mindset is embedded in my family and was a big reason why I decided to enroll at MiraCosta College and get involved right from the start.”
During her first semester in 2020, Abdulmateen signed up for a host of leadership roles within MiraCosta College’s programs and was also named to the President’s List in recognition of her outstanding achievement.
“Receiving that honor was a special moment for me,” said Abdulmateen. “I was never the strongest student in high school in terms of grades, so that gave me the confidence to do more.”
Since then, Abdulmateen has continued to pave her own path to success. In addition to her roles for the Black Student Union and Associated Student Government, Abdulmateen was invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
and currently serves as the co-college project coordinator. She is also an award-winning author after winning a gold medal for her original essay on “Islam in America” for the NAACP Local Act-So Competition.
“Each of these experiences has helped shape who I am and what I want to do,” said Abdulmateen.
She sees her roles within the Black Student Union and Associated Student Government as critical to the well-being of her peers. Every week, Abdulmateen uses her position to advocate for her fellow Black and MiraCosta College students. It’s something she hopes to carry forward during her career as a lawyer.
Never one to stop pushing for success, Abdulmateen is also committed to graduating debt-free, which is a big reason why the Osher Scholarship she receives is so important. As she explained, the scholarship is playing a long-term role in her future education and career plans.
“The Osher Scholarship means everything to me,” shared Abdulmateen. “As someone from a single-parent, low-income family, I don’t have the financial means to support my academic needs without going into significant debt. Without the scholarship, I would have to spend more time working and less time pursuing my academic goals.”
Today, that’s exactly what Abdulmateen is doing – focusing on her goals.
With a full schedule of classes and extracurriculars, as well as the backing of scholarship support, Abdulmateen is on her way toward transferring to a university where she plans to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees before becoming a lawyer.