Sherifah Munis, NewWave Foundation
NewWave Foundation is "instilling the dream" in students of all backgrounds by partnering with like-minded entities, such as Howard Community College. The founder and executive director has worked with the college for almost four years by providing scholarship support, mentorship, and sponsored educational programs to help students excel.
"Based on my experience with HCC, it's an institution that gives its students the opportunities to gain hands-on educational learning experiences," Munis said. "It's just not your typical go-to school where you learn and regurgitate what you've learned back to us. HCC really partners with the community, whether it's private companies, nonprofits, or even governmental institutions, to get its kids actually plugged in, get mentorship, and also get opportunities to learn hands-on.
"Those are the kinds of kids you want in an organization because they are able to hit the ground running," Munis said. "HCC has been doing an amazing job with that."
The NewWave Foundation, in partnership with NewWave Telecom and Technologies, an organization owned by Munis and her husband, is involved with HCC in many ways. The foundation has a NewWave Foundation scholarship available to HCC students who are the first in their family to attend college while pursuing a STEM-related field. Two years ago, NewWave Foundation sponsored a code-a-thon that offered the winning students the opportunity to intern at NewWave Telecom and Technologies. Two HCC students won the coveted prize and successfully transitioned from interns to full-time hires. The NewWave Foundation’s partnership with NewWave Telecom and Technologies has encouraged staff volunteers to serve as mentors through HCC's career mentorship program. NewWave Telecom and Technologies is also a partnering employer for the college's Software Development Apprenticeship Program, which prepares HCC students for computer science and data management careers.
"It's been nice for the NewWave Foundation to be a resource for connecting HCC with private entities like NewWave Telecom and Technologies in terms of both mentorship and learning," Munis said.
Munis believes in continuing to empower the next generation of leaders and dreamers through education, and she hopes that the foundation's commitment to HCC will open doors to endless opportunities to affect change in the future.
"I hope we have a bunch of HCC alums who were NewWave scholars who are out there making an impact in their communities and the world at large and who are paying it forward," Munis said. "Who, as a result of the gift of education, are not only maximizing their God-given potentials, but are also ensuring that their family members or close friends, or whoever it is that they have the ability to impact, are also being impacted by them."
"Because all of those little drops of water eventually fill the bucket," she added. "And the little buckets eventually fill the lakes and then the rivers and then the ocean. So it just starts with a little drop of water, and we hope our little drop of water has a ripple effect for sure."