Hannan Arshad EJB ’22 (Health Administration) was the recipient of the Seamon Smith Rutgers University #IAMTHECHANGE $5,000 Scholarship from the Smith Family Foundation of New Jersey and gained admittance to their Pathways to Success Program as an #IAMTHECHANGE scholar.
The Smith Family Foundation is a private grant-making institution founded in Trenton, NJ, in 2016. Its mission is to empower the community, cultivate leaders and transform lives by providing funding and leadership development to organizations serving Trenton. The Pathways to Student Success follows #IAMTHECHANGE Scholarship Award Winners through their educational career, providing financial, academic, and social-emotional support to increase the probability of matriculating through their college career. The program also aims to place each scholar in a paid internship to ensure that they are afforded the opportunity to gain the experience and skills that they need throughout their educational aspirations to help maximize their potential, prepare them for career readiness, and become lifelong learners.
Mr. Arshad completed an essay question in regard to a time in history he would travel back to. “For me, it was a Supreme Court case, 1997 of Reno vs. ACLU,” he said. “The impact of this case was that it prevented the unconstitutional CDA law that would violate the 1st amendments Freedom of Speech by regulating the Internet like other forms of media but with extremely vague/broad language under the guise of protecting kids. In reality, it could’ve easily led to a slippery slope in which the United States government could’ve garnered a questionable level of authority over what the American public could and could not see, post, or say on the Internet. We see the flaw of the CDA in authoritarian countries like China and North Korea that go as far as creating their own browsers that prevent their citizens from actions that the government deems inappropriate.”
He went on to say that this case was a precedent that established the free Internet we have today. One that can fight disinformation/propaganda that can occur from other forms of media like textbooks, as seen with the scandals of Texas’ Board of education attempts to whitewash history in their textbooks due to political influences in the state government.
On June 10, Mr. Arshad was honored at the Smith Family Foundation’s 1st Annual Awards Graduation Ceremony as one of the keynote speakers. Earlier this year, he also won a contest presented by Dr. Pepper via a tiktok application, winning a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to Charlotte, NC, for the ACC Championship game.
Currently, a committeeman for Edison, NJ’s 15th district, Mr. Arshad aspired to be a physician but opted for the health administration major. With interest in both policy and healthcare, he aims to be involved in healthcare at a higher level and help bridge the gap between clinicians and administrators. He would also like to work to support disadvantaged members of the community, from advocating for housing for the homeless to decrease the health risks attributed to being homeless to helping create and provide resources to make healthcare more accessible for all. In the future, he hopes to apply to medical school or to graduate school for an MHA/MBA or MHA/JD program.