Salhi is one of just 10 students chosen nationally.
August 28, 2018,
Jersey City, NJ – Growing up in eastern Algeria, Abderahim Salhi
saw teenagers dropping out of school and joining gangs. While he
dedicated himself to working in his family’s business, he came to
the realization that money doesn’t last, and what’s really
important is the knowledge one acquires. He set his sights on higher
education and immigrated to the United States to develop his
knowledge and skills at Hudson County Community College (HCCC), where
he is pursuing an Associate degree in Computer Science.
graduate next year, Mr. Salhi was recently chosen from a pool of 800
students nationally to receive the $5,000 Phi Theta Kappa 2018
Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. The honor is bestowed on
just 10 students across the nation for their civic engagement,
persistence and leadership, and academic rigor and excellence.
Preference was given to first-generation college students.
“We are all
so proud of Abderahim, said Dr. Chris Reber, President of HCCC. “He
is truly deserving of this honor, and his tenacity and resolve are
The Pearson is
Phi Theta Kappa Society’s first renewable scholarship and
mentorship program supporting both associate and bachelor’s degree
recipients earn $1,000 to utilize at their associate degree-granting
college, and $2,000 each year for two years to be utilized at their
four-year college of choice. Complimentary access to Pearson
textbooks and online codes are also provided to support each student
as they complete their degrees. Scholars also receive a
commemorative medallion, which will be awarded during Phi Theta
Kappa’s 2019 Annual Convention next April.
For Mr. Salhi,
it is a milestone in his journey to reach his educational and
professional goals. The 34-year-old HCCC student’s passion for
technology and thirst for learning inspire him to make long-range
plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
“It took me
almost 16 years until I came here to the U.S. to see my dream come
true. Being a new immigrant in the U.S. was not easy, especially with
a wife and son,” Salhi said, noting that the couple’s baby and
his wife’s encouragement motivate him to be a role model. “I
have always enjoyed fixing things, and to know about the different
components of electronic devices. Academia is the best place for me.
I can see myself sharing my knowledge and experience with passionate
students who have the same interests,” Mr. Salhi said.
He has plenty
of practice in the College’s STEM lab, where he works. In the STEM
Club, Mr. Salhi designed a drone for a capstone project, using
Autodesk Fusion 360 and printing the model using a 3D printer.
He oversaw the purchase of the electronic parts and helped with
the implementation, calibration and tuning of drone equipment. As a
and Programming Workshops Instructor, he
has trained eight students on Scratch programming using Google CS
First Curriculum. Mr. Salhi also introduced robotics basics using
Arduino board and assisted in recruiting students for workshops.
In his Pearson
scholarship essay, Mr. Salhi explained how digital technology played
a role in influencing his education, and described a learning tool he
would create. He wrote:
wanted to pursue a career in the academia, as it is the best soil for
me to grow as a researcher. At the same time, I can share my passion
for technology with students who want to learn and discover.”
Pearson scholarship winner’s vision is to reach students in
unconventional ways. “People from all corners of the world can
have access to knowledge at their fingertips, from their phones or
computers,” he said. “This has inspired me to create a platform
that makes the content of traditional textbooks more interactive and
responsive. The student will enjoy the same textbooks, but with added
features like short videos and quizzes that can be accessed from a
phone or computer.”
In addition to
the Pearson Scholarship, Mr. Salhi – who is the President of the
HCCC Beta Alpha Phi chapter of PTK – has also been awarded a PTK
Merit Scholarship, and is an “America Needs You” program fellow.