PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR JOUNICA DAOUD
When sophomore Jounica Daoud attended a scholarship seminar at Northeastern when she was still in high school, she was impressed with the teachers she met and happy to hear about the smaller-than-average class sizes. Now a Presidential Scholar in her second year at Northeastern, Daoud is still enthusiastic.
Daoud's determination to graduate college stems from watching her own parents struggle. "They dropped out of high school, and I remember them stretching to pay the bills and support each other and a child," she said. "They constantly stressed the importance of graduating from high school and college in order to succeed in life. Knowing that I could be the first one in my family to graduate from college is immense motivation."
As a Presidential Scholar, Daoud does not have to worry about paying tuition, fees or books. "The Presidential Scholarship means everything to me. Without it I probably would not be able to attend college at all because of financial barriers. This scholarship allows me to get the education I want and need to make something of myself in the future."
In addition to her classes, Daoud is also looking into sororities and joining the Assyrian Club. "My father is Assyrian, but I don't really know a lot about the culture," she said. "I want to learn the language, the fashion, the religion, and the history more thoroughly. I know that college can help me do that." To further that end she is considering taking Arabic. "Everyone on my father's side speaks Arabic, and I want to understand them," she said.
Daoud is also vice president of the NEIU Honors Society Club, which is active in fundraising. "Normally we do charity work - that's the purpose of the club - but this year we wanted to get more involved with Northeastern, the community and other clubs." she said. For instance, the NEIU Honors Society Club has a partnership with nearby North Park Village Senior Center and served a pre-Thanksgiving dinner to the residents there, Daoud said.
Volunteering is something Daoud has been doing for many years. Since she was 11 years old she has been a member of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG). "Most of what we do in IORG is fundraising. This includes having car washes, community dinners and breakfasts, blood drives, yard sales, and more."
Daoud has not yet declared a major, but her dream of owning a business has her thinking about taking business and management courses. In the meantime, she is working on her general education classes and is certain she will discover something that really interests her.
"College is a place where people try new things and learn who they are and what they want," she said. "For me, college is a place where I can pave the road to my success, get more in touch with my roots, and show my family that college is accessible."