Maryum Raheem joins a list of STAY Scholars from Seton Hall who have been recognized for their work with young adults and families from minority communities.
College of Education and Human Services graduate student Maryum Raheem received a national grant sponsored by the American Psychology Association's Minority Fellowship Program. Raheem become the eighth Seton Hall student, and the only one this year, to be named a STAY Fellow. The Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) fellowship is designed for graduate psychology students as they prepare to provide mental health services for teens, young adults and their families.
Raheem, who is pursuing both an M.A. in School Counseling and an Ed.S in Professional Counseling, said she had to read the award letter several times before believing the news. Finally convinced, she dashed off an email to share the news with her academic advisor, associate professor Peggy Brady-Amoon. "I doubted myself in the beginning, but it was my professor's words of support and encouragement that got me to apply," Raheem explained. "I wanted to thank her for that."
"Maryum is wonderful!" exclaimed Brady-Amoon when asked about her award-winning student. "I'm delighted that the STAY Selection Committee agrees that she is well-positioned to make the most of this highly selective Fellowship, and to positively influence educational, career and life trajectories of racial/ethnic minority youth and their families."
STAY Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend, specialized training, and life-time access to a network of America Psychology Association Minority Program Fellows. In turn, they commit to serving disadvantaged teens, young adults and their families for a minimum of 2 years after graduation.
Blending Cooking and Counseling
An Orange, New Jersey native, Raheem earned her bachelor's degree from Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, New York. Winters there lasted half the year and brought sub-zero temperatures. When it was time to think about graduate school, she looked for a university close to home that offered milder weather. She was also intent on finding a school with a diverse student body and a program that matched her professional goal of working with disadvantaged children and families. Her first choice was Seton Hall.
"I love my program," says Raheem, noting that the faculty are supportive and bring deep professional experience and research to the classroom. She also appreciates the diversity among her fellow students which she says enriches discussions and experiences they have in the program.
After she graduates, Raheem plans to become a high school counselor. She also wants to launch a counseling practice where she can apply an innovative approach to working with young adults by tapping her other passion, cooking.
Raheem traces her interest in cooking to the time she spent in the kitchen with her grandmother. When she left home to study psychology, she discovered there might be a way to merge both her interests. "I was doing research and learned that cooking is a form of therapy and a life skill that everyone can learn," Raheem explained. She got busy creating interactive cooking-based activities including one for students with developmental disabilities and as well as an afterschool program.
Raheem's vision puts a fresh twist on the idea of comfort food. There are few programs she says that tie together therapeutic counseling and cooking. Eager to pioneer the approach, Raheem may turn to some of her favorite recipes, such as lemon-crusted chicken, for inspiration.
The path to wellness could very well wind through Raheem's kitchen. But first, there's the STAY Fellowship orientation in Washington, D.C. later this summer, where the next chapter in her professional journey begins.