Hassan Aboud: Opportunity From the Other Side

Hassan is a recipient of the 2019 Khan Memorial Fund Scholarship. Given in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program, the Khan Memorial fund awards scholarships to rising leaders who demonstrate bravery, integrity, and compassion in storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here.

When I first walked off the plane and entered the United States, I was not sure what to expect, but I knew this was a new opportunity for me and my family. As a ten-year-old child at the time, it was very baffling trying to wrap my head around the situations that lead to my family coming to the united states. Nevertheless, I was quite aware of the 2006 war in Lebanon that destroyed the homes and took the lives of thousands of innocent children.

Taking shelter in an underground facility while hiding in the corner fully clothed and holding tight to my mother’s arms from the fear of death accompanied by the fear of the unknown was insignificant compared to the sounds of breaking rocks and shattering glass that surrounded me in every corner. Hunger, thirst, and the lack of medical necessities was surely devastating.

As tough as it is to find a bright side in this situation, I managed to find a way, a path that initiated a superb feeling that I envisioned about and consistently contemplated during the long rides in the woods hiding from airstrikes, or the times my fever would reach such high levels that I felt the need to tie myself to something to stop the shaking. This feeling was supplemented by the feeling of opportunity and freedom that shaped my mentality. I find myself an individual that has a positive perspective on everything, especially in terms of academics and opportunity.

My experiences did not fall short of making me realize the luxury of the simple things such as learning and clean water, and the significance of freedom offered in the United States of America. There was an initial struggle assessing my Identity in this country, but the surrounding diversity made me feel like I am not alone in this journey, and there are many others just like me with their own story.

Motivated and optimistic, I knew that a college education was my next step after I finished high school. My father played a big role during my early years as he always emphasized the important role of a college education and gaining knowledge overall, and I knew over time that in order to secure the American dream, I had to become a positive impacting member of the community and not just any ordinary person.

I have pursued several different career options from being a Manager at Yogurtown to Customer Service Provider at Posh Restaurant, but, the time that I spent at the Grace Hospice was what cemented my passion for the healthcare profession. During the time of cooperating with the Grace Hospice, I worked offsite and was given the chance to visit many patients at their homes and provide help and support.

I will be completing the Biomedical Certificate Program at Oakland University after graduation which will provide me with required first hand exposure to advanced science courses and create a solid foundation for future academics to my professional medical career. I will be completing my Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Wayne State University in December 2018 and would like to start the program immediately after. I was the President of the Advanced Pre-Medical Association Club at Wayne State University during my undergraduate years where my vision statement revolved around aiding the undeserved community of Detroit by providing hygienic essentials, along with having clothes drives and donating over four thousand dollars’ worth of winter clothes. The organization created a networking source for all participating students and offered extracurricular activities that were related and non-related to the medical field.

Another significant factor of my undergraduate years is my internship experience at Beaumont’s Healthy Dearborn Department where I was responsible for statistical data analysis of public health reports and developed qualitative and quantitative questionnaire to carry out on the field in the designated community.

Leaving behind my place of birth where all my memories and childhood reside is not as simple as it is said or written in words, nor easy to forget. There will come a time where I will revisit, but today and now is a time for improvement and progress and falling short of anything but success is not an option as each opportunity brings me one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming a physician and utilizing my medical and public health skills to help others.