It was during the MCC Foundation’s 2013 Scholarship Reception that Fizza Sulaiman heard the call to serve the community. This annual event allows Foundation donors to meet and mingle with the students who have benefited. Fizza had been awarded a Foundation Scholarship and listened intently as Brian Daugherty, the chairman of the Foundation, spoke to the crowd.
“He talked about about how it is important to give back,” Fizza said. “He made me realize that while I don’t have funds to donate now, there are other ways I can contribute – that somehow I should serve. And I took his words to heart.”
Indeed. Fizza joined the North Brunswick First Aid and Rescue Squad and spends 12 hours a week answering calls and assisting the crew chief. She has been active with Democracy House, MCC’s service learning program, helping with a coat drive to benefit Jersey Cares, and a food drive for Elijah’s Promise. She also assisted at a breakfast with Santa for children in Perth Amboy.
With a 3.99 grade point average, Fizza is planning to graduate in August and then attend Rutgers University. She hopes to become a physician’s assistant.
But her academic and career plans almost crashed during her first class at MCC: Chemistry 121. She did poorly on the first two tests. “I thought, ‘maybe I’m not college material; maybe I’m not smart enough,” she said. So I asked the professor, George Pangalos, if I should drop the class and change my major. I was kind of hoping he’d say yes. But he kept saying ‘winners are not quitters.’ He said study more, stop complaining. He was the key for me. He pushed me to do well. I learned so much from that.”