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Student Activities Testimonials

The Student Activities Office coordinates clubs and activities to complement formal classroom instruction. Students develop leadership skills, communication skills, techniques of organization, along with an increased understanding of self and others. The following stories are from HFC alumni and current students about their community experience at HFC.

Omar Dahbali, 2016

I majored in pre-engineering at Henry Ford College. I transferred to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to pursue a bachelor degree in Engineering but I am taking my last class to graduate with my associate degree from HFC.

I was a very active student at HFC and formed the Engineering Club, served as the vice president of the Yemen Student Association, treasurer of the International Student Organization and was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa. These experiences helped enhance my leadership and communication skills, and taught me the importance of team work. I enjoyed working with diverse groups of students and my experiences allowed me to create a family outside of my home.

Serving as an active member of a student club is a great way to give back to your community. Joining clubs allowed me to make new friends and join in activities that gave me the best college experience that I could ask for. Choosing one memorable event is difficult but if there is one thing that I will forever remember, it's the campus family. I believe that HFC had a huge impact on me as a person and I learned so much from instructors on an academic level as well as on a personal level. Would I recommend HFC to a friend? I don’t think I was ever this certain in my life with saying yes!

Andrea Corrie, 2016

My scheduled graduation from HFC will take place in December 2016. I started taking classes at the University of Michigan-Flint while attending HFC. My long term goal is to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing by December 2018. I serve as a board member for the Student Nurse Association, the Student-Faculty Committee, Curriculum Committee, Peer Mentor Program and maintain an active membership in Phi Theta Kappa. My most memorable experience was being asked by the dean of Nursing to serve as a student representative at the biannual Nursing Advisory Board. I was one of two students who had the honor of meeting community leaders and sharing my experiences. I was also elected to the Michigan Nursing Student Association Board of Directors. Currently, I am working to organize a team of 15 nursing students and faculty from Henry Ford College to travel to Belize on a humanitarian trip through the International Service Learning Organization.

There are many community service opportunities that are provided by the Student Nurse Association. I enjoyed serving meals at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and providing hygiene kits to the homeless in the Cass Community in Detroit. We collected water for the residents of Flint and collected warm clothing for the poor. One of my most memorable moments at Henry Ford College was helping at the pinning ceremony for graduates of the nursing program. It was a beautiful moment watching students come to the end of their journey while preparing for their next. Henry Ford College is a wonderful place to start your education and take part in worthwhile clubs and activities.

Anne Marie Johnson R.N., 2014

I graduated from HFC in December 2014 and the experience has changed my life. Thanks to the HFC Nursing Program, I am currently living my dream career as a registered nurse and working at Beaumont Hospital.

One of the many contributing factors to my success includes my involvement in the Student Nurse Association (SNA). I joined the SNA at the beginning of the program. I started out as a member and subsequently became the activity director. This position opened up many opportunities for me. It allowed me to develop my leadership and communication skills, as well as evolve as a person.

The connection I made with faculty and student peers is irreplaceable. I am proud of my accomplishments and I am very blessed that I found a school that cares about my education.

Hadi Abbas, 2014

I graduated in May 2014 with an associate degree in Applied Science, majoring in Architecture/Construction Technology. My involvement at HFC gave me the opportunity to meet new people and gain experiences that helped me both professionally and personally. My involvement with student clubs got me involved with the college community and the community where I grew up and surrounding communities. These experiences helped me meet new people and get involved in activities that I probably never would have tried on my own.

I joined Phi Theta Kappa (Alpha Xi Mu) and remain involved as an alumni member. I served as the vice president of the Community Service Club and also was elected to the HFC Student Council where I served as the chairperson. My involvement gave me the opportunity to work with students, staff and faculty. Some of my memorable experiences include serving on the Presidential Search Committee, being involved with Relay for Life, Hospice Advantage, Forgotten Harvest and Habitat for Humanity.

My involvement at HFC helped me become a leader and grow as a person. It helped me in ways that I never realized. This included helping me to stay focused in my classes and balance my time so that I could manage my coursework while participating in meetings and activities as a student club member. One of the greatest advantages of joining these organizations is that it helped me understand what I was studying by having the opportunity to apply my knowledge to what I was doing in everyday life and volunteer activities. My experiences helped me become successful both academically and socially, which benefits me as I work toward my undergraduate degree in Architecture at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

Amir El-Aswad, 2013

Attending HFC was easily one of best decisions I’ve ever made. Upon graduating with an associate degree in Liberal Arts in 2013, I received a full-ride scholarship to continue my education at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Ia. While at HFC, I was able to lay the foundation of my education, which was geared toward Middle Eastern international law, by taking various courses related to the Arabic language, culture and society. In addition to beginning my in-depth study of the region, I was given the opportunity to challenge my academic abilities to the highest level by enrolling in the Honors Program. My experiences at HFC ultimately prepared me for the rigors of obtaining an advanced education while also providing practical skills which I use to this day.

While at HFC, I made sure to not only excel academically, but also to participate in as many student organizations as I could. During my time there, I served as editor-in-chief of "The Mirror News," HFC’s student-run newspaper, as well as secretary for both Amnesty International and HFC Rotaract Club. Joining these student organizations truly shaped my time at HFC. Not only was I able to meet a fantastic group of students with whom I’m still extremely close today, but I was also able to benefit the local Dearborn/Detroit community while simultaneously developing my leadership skills. As the editor-in-chief, I led weekly meetings, oversaw the production of the entire paper, established business connections for advertisements and managed a staff of roughly 17 highly-motivated student journalists, photographers, and artists. While in Amnesty and Rotaract, I assisted in various programs, such as the Freedom House, a refugee asylum in Detroit; and Blessings in a Backpack, which provided bags full of food for local impoverished children.

My experiences at HFC, both the academics and extracurricular activities, greatly prepared me for the rigors of a four-year college. I was able to extrapolate the leadership skills that I had developed over to Cornell, where I served as the entertainment editor of "The Cornellian," the student-run newspaper; competed on the nationally ranked Mock Trial team; and served as the president of Mortar Board, the senior national honors society.

Although my time at HFC gave me the means to excel at Cornell, the benefits were not only limited to the college setting. After graduating with my bachelor degree in Middle Eastern International Relations, I took a break in my education and worked as a paralegal. I also became a certified bartended and started my own company, Onyx Process Services, LLC, which provides a variety of support services for attorneys throughout Metro-Detroit. I am returning to school in fall of 2016 at the Michigan State University School of Law, where I was admitted to the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute, which offered me a full tuition scholarship. My long term goal is to focus on international corporate litigation.

I am utterly confident that the leadership, interpersonal and academic skills that I built at HFC and refined at Cornell will fully prepare me not only to obtain a law degree, but to continue my level of academic excellence and become the best international attorney I can possibly become.

Kelly Featherston, R.R.T., 2012

I started attending classes as one of the first students enrolled in the Henry Ford Early College. I wasn’t sure if I would fit in since I was one of the youngest students at the college. My age was not a problem because the instructors made me feel welcome and I got involved with student clubs. I joined the Ice Carving Club and learned how to carve a snowman out of ice. I also joined the Community Service Club and experienced the rewards of helping others by volunteering at the Making Strides against Cancer Walk, Relay for Life, and collecting food for a local food bank. I organized a project to collect school supplies and crafts for children in the hospital.

My leadership skills improved when I was elected as the first president of the Early College Student Council and the president of the HFC Community Service Club. My other experiences included fun times as the captain of the HFC Cheer Team and my involvement with Phi Theta Kappa. I gained confidence because of the support of faculty and staff members who encouraged me to do my best.

My greatest accomplishment was my education; specifically graduating as a Respiratory Therapist and starting a rewarding career at Beaumont Hospital at age 18. I was honored as part of the first graduating class of the Henry Ford Early College and had the opportunity to share my experiences at the graduation ceremony. My education at HFC opened the doors for new opportunities including a job as a professional tutor with Respiratory Therapy students, taking part in a research program involving children with asthma, and traveling to Germany as part of my education in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. Henry Ford College is a great place to start a career and learn about the rewards of volunteering.

Geoffrey Knall, 2010

When I started at HFC, I had very few friends and was very shy. The entire classroom experience was new to me because I gained most of my academic experience through homeschooling. That changed when I joined the Student Environmental Association (SEA). This is where I gained volunteer experiences by planting trees with the Greening of Detroit and helped clean up dirty waterways with the Friends of the Rouge.

The SEA sponsored many documentary films and guest speakers to help inform students about the environment. I gained valuable knowledge and experiences, and was part of a club that gained momentum. In fact, I was later elected president of the SEA, which hosted HFC’s first Earth Day celebration. Another great experience was co-founding the Geology Club. It was fun to take part in fossil digs and chat away with my geology teacher about igneous rocks. Good times!

While I was both happy and sad to graduate from HFC in 2010, my experience at HFC helped me grow as a person and earn an associate degree in Environmental Studies. This helped me gain acceptance into the College of Environmental and Forestry at the State University of New York (SUNY), where I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Environmental Resources Engineering. This led me to my first professional job with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the Air Resources Division.

Jessica Sawyers, Pharm.D, 2007

I started at HFC in the fall of 2004, nervous, shy, unsure of what to expect. I came from a graduating class of 64 people and did not know one person at HFC. The first days were tough, but lucky for me I did not pack a lunch so I stumbled upon the Welcome Back Days event where the student clubs had booths with friendly, welcoming faces. I have always been drawn to service and was intrigued by the Community Service Club (CSC), where I joined on the spot. It was, hands down, the best decision I made that year and for the two that followed as I completed my associate degree.

During my time in the CSC, I was able to impact so many through service projects, made long- lasting friendships with incredible people and grew as a person. I got the courage to run for president and lead the organization. This led to my most memorable times at HFC. We raised money to purchase sleds and toys for orphans, and we had a team at the Making Strides against Cancer Walk and the Relay for Life. One of our big projects was making fleece blankets for the veterans at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit.

The opportunities and personal growth that I gained through the CSC led me to where I am today. After I graduated in 2007, I was accepted into the graduate school at Wayne State University to pursue my doctorate of Pharmacy degree. My professors would later tell me that my active participation and experiences at HFC helped me get into the program even though I did not have a bachelor degree!

My experiences at HFC led me to pursue a residency at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Battle Creek. I landed my first job there as an ambulatory care clinical pharmacy specialist. In 2015 I earned a promotion and now serve as the associate chief of Clinical Pharmacy Services. I continue to serve our veterans every day, which is such an honor. I can truly say I owe it to the CSC and all the wonderful people I met through the organization that helped me along the way. To them, I want to say thank you.

Ron Hindrichs, 2007

As a student at HFC, I was active in several student clubs and organizations, most notably sports editor of "The Mirror News," HFC’s student-run newspaper; various broadcasts with WHFR radio; president and founder of the International Relations Organization (IRO); chair of the Student Council; and a member of the Honors Program. I received the Distinguished Student Leader Award in 2006 and 2007 as a result of my participation and leadership in the above-mentioned organizations. Student activities at HFC helped me gain real world experience by granting me access to top level college administrators and elected community officials, as well as providing experience in leadership and management. The opportunity to participate in student organizations had a significant contribution toward my admission and scholarship to the Wayne State University Honors College.

I am grateful for the tremendous impact HFC’s student organizations placed on my résumé and my career, which have resulted in securing various internships and full-time positions, including working as an aide in the Office of Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko. I am now the director of Events and Media relations for the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ayad Alkhatib, M.D., 2005

I started my career at HFC in 2005 and graduated from Wayne State University in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree, where I double-majored in Chemistry and Biochemistry. I was admitted to the Wayne State Medical School in 2008 and completed my residency in the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) Internal Residency Program in 2015. I am currently working as a Rheumatology Fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

I feel that the most important step for me was actually being at HFC. That was truly the building block for my medical career, especially since I was at the time a recent immigrant who worked through the opportunities and challenges of such a role. I got the chance to be the student of some amazing professors at HFC who not only had superb knowledge, but also had a great deal of compassion and care for their students. And those professors continue to be my mentors to this day and I keep in close touch with them.

I also had the chance to work closely with various college clubs, including the Muslim Student Association, the Ice Carving Club and volunteer with the Student Club Administration at several multicultural events. I believe this experience really helped shape me into the person I am today! It helped to deepen my understanding of various cultures and interact with people of different backgrounds, along with reaching out to different cultures.

I have personally visited other colleges and heard about the rest, and I have been truly blessed to be part of HFC.