Published May 4, 2020

Inaya Thompson is a biology/pre-medicine major at Rutgers University–­New Brunswick’s School of Arts and Sciences. She hopes to enter medical school after graduating in 2023 and eventually become a doctor of naturopathic medicine.

Inaya participated in the Rutgers Future Scholars program and received a Scarlet Promise Grant to continue her studies at Rutgers. “In the seventh grade when I was chosen to be a Rutgers Future Scholar, I had my mind set on becoming a part of the Rutgers community and receiving the Scarlet Promise Grant. Every year when we had to attend summer sessions, it gave me the encouragement and fuel to know that I could be a proud member of this community that truly cares and inspires you to keep pushing,” Inaya says.

Scarlet Promise Grants, formerly known as Rutgers Assistance Grants, provide essential aid to students for whom a Rutgers education would otherwise be impossible.

After being accepted at Rutgers, Inaya felt that her hard work and dedication had turned a dream into reality, and it has compelled her to inspire others. “Once I entered Rutgers, after receiving the Scarlet Promise Grant, I could not help but remind myself that from now on, I have to work four times as hard since working twice as hard allowed me to get into Rutgers. Receiving the grant and being a Rutgers Future Scholar has allowed me to set a high standard of academic achievement,” she says. “Knowing that I have a community that is by my side to provide me with assistance financially and morally allows me to continue to push and bring in more students like me into this program.”

Inaya appreciates the great diversity of the Rutgers community. She believes that programs like Rutgers Future Scholars and Scarlet Promise Grants are vital to help attract bright students from underserved populations or challenging backgrounds. “It is not where you come from, however, it is where you end up,” she says. “No one successful has ever ended up somewhere on their own. There are always people who helped contribute to their successes.” Inaya believes that students from economically challenged backgrounds “should be the first and top priority of all scholarships at the university in order to be academically successful.”

Inaya thanks donors to Rutgers Future Scholars and Scarlet Promise Grants for the chance to “dream, believe, and succeed. It is with the utmost respect and gratitude that I thank all of the donors who support Rutgers Future Scholars and Scarlet Promise Grants” she says. “Without your generosity, many students who come from these challenging backgrounds would not have a chance to get in and afford a school like Rutgers. I thank you for devoting your time and efforts to contribute to this program.”

While not busy with her schoolwork, Inaya enjoys doing community service, mentoring, watching basketball and football, swimming, singing, bowling, skating, listening to music, and, most of all, hanging out with her family and friends.