June 10, 2023

Matin Family Creates Memorial Endowment

Matin Family
Hammad Matin and his family gave the CSM Foundation $100,000 in memory of their mother Shaheen A. Matin, who graduated from CSM in 1990. Her memorial scholarship will support scholarships for early childhood and child care programs. Members of the Matin family were diamond sponsors of CSM’s recent Diamond Decade Mania, celebrating the college’s 60th anniversary.

Charles County’s Matin Family has created a memorial scholarship endowment at the College of Southern Maryland.

It’s impossible to be mistaken about how Charles County resident Hammad Matin feels about his late mother and College of Southern Maryland alumna Shaheen A. Matin. “She embodied the American dream,” Mr. Matin said recently. “And I miss her every day.”

Shaheen was the beloved caregiver of hundreds of children as they passed through the Little Angels Learning Center between 1985 and 2014. She died in 2014 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. To honor their mother, Hammad and his sister Seema and brother Sajjad have presented the CSM Foundation with a $100,000 gift in Shaheen’s name.Matin Family

The Shaheen A. Matin Class of 1990 Memorial Scholarship Endowment aims to support students who want to follow in Shaheen’s footsteps by taking classes at CSM to study early childhood and child care programs. In the coming months, the college will also dedicate Room 105 in the Community Education (CE) Building at the La Plata Campus to Shaheen, and name the CE Lab, “The Shaheen A. Matin Early Childhood Lab ‘90.”

An Immigrant’s Success Story

Hammad Matin is proud to describe his parents’ journey as “a true immigrant success story.” Born in Pakistan, Shaheen came to America when she was 18 after marrying Hammad’s father, Shaikh. As Shaikh worked toward his successful civilian career with the Naval Service Warfare Center in Dahlgren, VA, Shaheen nurtured a fledgling child care business, caring for children in the tiny basement of their Port Tobacco home.

“Mom loved these kids and the child care business,” Hammad said. “Dad was her biggest cheerleader and encouraged her to do more, so she did.”

Shaheen earned a certificate at CSM to provide child care in 1985 and then earned her associate degree in childhood education in 1990 – all the while running her child care business and raising her own family. Next, Shaikh and Shaheen purchased a building in La Plata and Little Angels Learning Center quickly grew in square feet and sets of feet as Shaheen was caring for close to 100 children each day, including students who were moving through Charles County’s public school system’s before- and after-care programs.

“She loved every moment of her job,” Hammad said. “She hardly ever took a vacation. She would be at work every day at 6 am and would stay until closing. She knew every child and considered all of them her babies.

“We would laugh,” he continued, “when we would discover that she was caring for the children of, and sometimes the grandchildren of, some of her first kids.”

Describing his mother as “naturally gifted” with kids, Hammad said babies and children were drawn to her, too. “It was her calling.”

Giving Back

“We are deeply touched by the Matins’ gift to CSM and our students,” said CSM Vice President of Advocacy and Community Engagement Michelle Goodwin. “Shaheen made so many contributions to our community, and positively influenced so many generations of children. She was indeed loved by all who knew her and we are grateful to help honor her memory and create this legacy.”

Hammad said he is positive his mother would be pleased with  the scholarship and endowment. He said his mom helped others set up businesses, including other child care centers.

“If she could help someone else – young or old – to be in the field she loved – loving children like she did – she would,” Hammad said. “The scholarship and endowment will last in perpetuity to help residents live the American dream and love children, just like she did.

“My siblings and I have been very blessed,” he continued, further explaining that his parents’ success helped Seema achieve her career with the US State Department as a diplomat in the Foreign Service. Sajjad is a federal prosecutor in Miami, FL, while Hammad is the founder and principal defense attorney at the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. in La Plata.

“We were able to obtain good educations and pursue our passions thanks to our parents’ fulfilling the American dream,” Hammad said. “I was able to go to law school and return home to serve. I am glad to give all I can back to our community.”

Anyone who applies for the Shaheen A. Matin Class of 1990 Memorial Scholarship must be a resident of Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary’s counties; have earned a high school diploma or equivalent; maintain at least a 2.5 GPA; and be enrolled in the college’s early childhood or child care program. Scholarship recipients will be eligible to receive up to $1,500 per semester for six semesters as long as they comply with the eligibility requirements and remain in good academic standing at the college.

For information on scholarships at CSM, visit the college online.

If you’d like to know about donating toward scholarships at CSM, visit the CSM Foundation.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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