Najwa Aboudaye ranked top female student in Math League competition
H FC student Najwa Aboudaye was ranked as the top female student in the Student Math League competition in the Midwest, and third place overall for two straight semesters.
She was awarded $300 and a free membership in the Association for Women in Mathematics.
“Everyone worked hard for this. We all trained a solid month to be ready for the SML competition. In the end, it paid off,” said Aboudaye, of Dearborn Heights. “I encourage other people to join, especially girls. It’s not easy, but it's well worth it.”
HFC math professor Michael Zalzali is the advisor of the SML.
“I was in his class when I first started at HFC,” she said. “I approached him after class and told him I was interested in joining.”
Earning two associate degrees at the same time
Aboudaye attended Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, but graduated from Westwood Cyber High School, also in Dearborn Heights, in 2015. She is working on two associate degrees at HFC – one in biology and the other environmental science. Upon graduation from HFC in 2021, she plans to transfer to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she’ll study environmental engineering. Her older brother, Maher Aboudaye, is an HFC alumnus.
“I really love HFC,” she said. “A lot of people who transfer from HFC tell me how much they miss it here, and I can see why. It’s so welcoming and such a great environment. I’m taking advantage of everything I can do here while I can.”
One of her biggest influences is HFC biology professor Linda Brandt.
“I really enjoyed her class. She cared the most of all my teachers – and they all cared. She gave us so many chances to do better,” said Aboudaye. “Everything she taught us was something we needed to know. I liked that she’s very environmentally conscious. She talked about what she does in her own time to make environment a better place. That helped me make some changes in my own life, as well.”
“Najwa is a gem to have as a student,” recalled Brandt. “She brought her intelligence to the classroom in the questions she asked. She brought enthusiasm to the lab in her semester-long research project on the effect of varying acidity levels on tomato plants. She brought joy in her friendly smile and kindness. Congratulations, Najwa!”