A native of Palestine, Alhroob lived in Jordan, where she worked as an agricultural engineer focused on plant production. After marrying and having two children, she moved to America in 2010. By the time she was expecting her third child, Alhroob was ready to work toward a degree in the U.S.
It wasn’t easy taking classes with two small children and another on the way. After years of parenting and studying – combined with teaching students Arabic and religion on the side – she earned an associate degree in IT programming. But as her definition of success evolved, Alhroob quickly took the next step and dived into a bachelor’s program at UNCG.
Unfortunately, after landing a job as an IT support technician, she had to resign when the pandemic took hold. She wanted to focus on keeping her family healthy and safe. “I was so sad to leave my job because the opportunity was an excellent one,” she said.
But the very same day of her resignation, Alhroob received an exciting email from the Bryan School. The message shared information about the Suit Up program, which came as a “new opportunity for happiness,”
I am blessed and thankful for all the resources of the Bryan School. I feel like each opportunity will help me at some level in the future.”
You never want something as simple as a piece of clothing to be a barrier to success.”
Alhroob applied and was selected to receive $250 worth of business attire. Funded by donors and sponsored by JC Penney, the program allows participants to shop for professional clothing while also receiving tips about how to dress for success.
“Donors to this program have a direct impact on students,” says Tyler Wiersma, assistant director of undergraduate professional development at the Bryan School. “You essentially see students wearing the donation.”
The program is now in its sixth year. “You never want something as simple as a piece of clothing to be a barrier to success,” Wiersma says. “Thanks to Suit Up, our students can put on a suit, walk into a room and immediately feel they have a right to be there.”
Alhroob bought two jackets and a pair of black pants she can wear with both, as well as shoes, a purse and a blouse. She has worn the suits for online interviews and business events at UNCG, including one at which she was honored for student excellence. The attire also came in handy during her two summer internships.
Later this fall, Alhroob will set out to finish her bachelor’s degree while starting her first 12 credits toward her master’s with a concentration in Cyber Security.
“I am blessed and thankful for all the resources of the Bryan School,” she says. “I feel like each opportunity will help me at some level in the future.”
Alhroob hopes to set a strong example for her sons – ages 17, 14 and 9. She shares her achievements with them, even jumping up and down to share in the excitement.
“I want my boys to see that you need skills and knowledge, but that you also need to work hard to achieve your goals,” she says. “They didn’t care about grades before, but now they tell me all the time, ‘Mom, we changed because of you.’ I truly believe you can do anything if you love to learn, want to make a change and serve others.”