Statesman Scholar Umar Mujahid
Before arriving at Richard Bland College of William & Mary in fall 2017, student-athlete Umar Mujahid was homeschooled his entire life.
“Coming to Richard Bland and being in a classroom for the first time was a refreshing change for me, but a daunting experience,” Mujahid said. Along with his academic strengths he also shined as a First Team All-Region X selection on the RBC men’s soccer team this past season. “I never had experiences with so many students before, so it was a real eye-opener. But I learned to utilize all the resources available at RBC and my experiences here have been fantastic.”
The Meherrin native and member of Richard Bland’s class of 2019 was recruited to play soccer and enhance his academics. With hard work, both endeavors have been successful. The Statesman soccer team won the Region X regular season championship his first year and he was an Honorable Mention conference honoree. His focus on academics placed him in the Honors program this year.
“Umar has been a model student-athlete for the men’s soccer team the last two years,” head coach Damien Westfield said. “He has a 3.51 GPA and has been a huge part of building a successful program.”
“Being a student-athlete was a hard adjustment for me,” explained Mujahid, who aspires to play at a four-year institution next year while pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering with a career goal of becoming a doctor.
“I had to develop a robust and strict work ethic that involved practices and workouts with a rigorous academic workload that comes with being an honor student,” he said. “I was fortunate to have teammates that supported me from the very first day. It helped make my transition from being homeschooled to a college student seamless.”
One of the first things Mujahid noticed upon arriving at RBC was how multicultural the campus was despite its small student population. The Statesman soccer team features players from eight countries. “Not having a common language on the team did not hinder relationships,” says Mujahid. “It helped forge a strong bond centered around a common goal both athletically and academically. My teammates are now friends for life.”
Mujahid was a Dean’s List student in the fall semester and his goal is to be on the President’s List. “Being an honor student bears more responsibility and greater academic expectation,” he said. “But I am driven to succeed. If it means going to sleep later at night or waking up earlier, I will do whatever it takes to achieve my future aspirations.”