Freshman, Temple University
2004 CORE Scholar and Future Celebrated Historian and History Channel Host
Which is more difficult? Mothering ten children or getting your college degree? Now, consider Yaasiyn’s mother who did both.
Not surprisingly, when asked who inspired him to go to college, Yaasiyn tells the story about how his mother put herself through college, re-entering as a single mother of ten at the age of 35, beginning at Community College of Philadelphia and finishing her bachelor’s degree at Temple several years later. She is now a full-time accountant (and still a mother of ten).
As the fifth child and the first of his siblings to go to college, Yaasiyn is very proud to continue the tradition that his mother fought so hard to achieve. “If she can do it, I can too.”
He describes his first day on campus as his best experience of the past year. “Even though the odds were stacked against me, I didn’t let anything stand in the way of college.” He said that most of his friends from his neighborhood in Germantown who could be in college were not for many reasons. Returning every Sunday to attend his church, True United Apostolic Church, he says his friends wish him well, knowing that he’s going to make something of himself.
With an email address that starts with “prodigy” and “genius,” Yaasiyn describes himself as “self-confident.” Yet, at the beginning of college, he thought that he might have to play catch up because he “didn’t learn everything” in high school. Whether it was his natural intelligence or his diligence—that pulled him away from this CORE interview for an hour while he took a quiz—Yaasiyn has seen the fruits of all his labor as he enjoys a 3.85 GPA this year.
Yaasiyn says that he won’t be finished with school until he sees “Ph.D.” next to his name. Getting the scholarship through this project was critical to his getting to Temple: “Without scholarships like CORE, I know I wouldn’t be in college today.” Yaasiyn is already focused on finding another source for the $3,000 CORE grant that he received last year so that he can stay in school and one day become Professor Muhammad, History Channel Host.