Aspiring diplomat wins two scholarships to attend HFC

Release Date
Nyla Abdulla is wearing a dark navy headscarf, with a dark navy long sleeved shirt and patterned jumper.

She's staying in Dearborn to start her college experience. Nyla Abdulla earned both the Leaders Advancing & Helping Communities (LAHC) Award for Excellence and the Otto J. Rowen Vocational Scholarship, and she looks forward to attending HFC in the Winter 2025 semester.

“I’m taking the fall semester off,” said Abdulla. “My family and I plan to travel overseas for a while. I’m looking forward to starting my college education in the winter to study political science and Arabic.”

Born in Detroit, Abdulla lives in Dearborn and is a recent graduate of Dearborn High School. She has a twin brother named Amir. Abdulla recently graduated from DHS, where she was a member of the Debate Team, the Key Club, the National Honor Society, and the Model United Nations. She was also secretary of the Islam Club, student representative of the Principal-Student Advisory Council, and student representative of the Book Reconsideration Committee. She even underwent mental health first aid and CPR training during her DHS days.

Through the Key Club, Abdulla enjoyed volunteer work, such as food drives, peanut sales, making cards for disabled adults during the holidays, and assisting at Memorial Day parades. Abdulla served as a tutor at Stout Middle School.

Aspires to a career as a UN diplomat

Prior to enrolling in DHS, Abdulla spent six years in Malaysia. She returned to the United States in 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full force.

“It was a hard adjustment, and I had to take extra classes to make up for the ones I missed,” she said. “However, I was able to get through it and most of the classes I took, I learned so much that I will use in the present and future. I really enjoyed going to the Career & Technical Education and Michael Berry Career Center for half the day and doing more hands-on classes like emergency response and forensics.”

She spoke about what made her decide to attend HFC.

“Many reasons: It's close, flexible, and affordable,” said Abdulla. “I always enjoyed government and politics and was able to explore that a bit in high school by taking AP government and doing Model UN for a few years. I would like to go into international relations and political science and join the UN as a diplomat or a representative, where I would travel to impoverished and underdeveloped countries.”

Fostering inclusivity and understanding

Abdulla applied for the LAHC scholarship believing that she would not get it. In the end, her activities and accomplishments helped make the difference in the award.

“I got an email about the scholarship at my school and because I had met the requirements, I applied. I honestly wasn't expecting to be chosen for it as I'm not a 4.0 student (her overall GPA at DHS was 3.87), but my extracurricular activities and application essay helped a lot and made a big difference. I felt I had nothing to lose,” she confessed.

One of her teachers nominated her for the Rowen Scholarship, which is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dearborn. She was one of two students in her class who was selected for the $2,500 scholarship, which will help fund her tuition at HFC.

Angie Linder of Dearborn Rotary served as the Rowen Scholarship Committee Chair.

“On behalf of the Rotary Club, we are honored to award the Otto J. Rowen Scholarship to Nyla Abdulla,” said Linder. “Nyla's dedication to academic excellence, her passion for international law and diplomacy, and her commitment to fostering inclusivity and understanding embody the very principles we promote. We are proud to support her as she continues to pursue her goals and make a positive impact on the world.”