Blind Student Makes Most of HFC Education
Blind since birth, Khodr Farhat never let that stand in the way of achieving his goals. He repeatedly credits HFC for allowing him to reach his potential.
“It’s important that a college should get students ready for the real world and HFC does just that. It is a really great education institution. I love the staff, the teachers, the administration and every single thing that’s affiliated with it. As a visually impaired student, I received everything I needed. I want to thank the Office of Assisted Learning Services for accommodating me. My teachers were very supportive and encouraging. All of them were very kind-hearted people,” said Farhat, of Dearborn.
A native of Lebanon, Farhat immigrated to the US in 2009 when he was 16. He didn’t know a word of English. He enrolled in Lincoln Park High School (LPHS), which has a visually impaired program. He spent his free time learning English, determined to graduate on time from LPHS – which he did in 2012. Farhat is fluent in English and Arabic. He can also read braille in English and Arabic.
“When I arrived in America seven years ago, I knew it would be a challenge. But I was up for the challenge. I strongly believe – then and now – that if I couldn’t grasp English, I wouldn’t be competitive in the classroom. I was never ashamed to make mistakes – they helped me learn. I was determined not to make the same mistake twice,” he said.
Upon graduation from LPHS, he enrolled at HFC and was active in the community. Farhat volunteered at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) and the now-defunct Westland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. He has been active with the Dearborn Good Fellows, the Rotary Club of Dearborn, the Exchange Club of Lincoln Park, the Lebanese American Heritage Club (LAHC) of Dearborn, the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Red Cross.
“I wanted to send the message that someone who’s blind and also a minority can be successful,” said Farhat.
At HFC, he participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. He also made the Dean’s List several times and participated in the National Society of Leadership & Success. Throughout his time at HFC, he earned 25 scholarships and awards.
“There is plenty of opportunity here. You must chase it because it won’t happen if you’re watching TV,” said Farhat.
In May, he graduated from HFC with an associate degree in Education. Originally, Farhat planned to become a special education teacher but changed his mind. This fall, he will attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn (U-M Dearborn) where he will major in Political Science. From there, he plans on earning graduate and doctoral degrees in higher education. His career goal is to work for the Michigan Dept. of Education and become a motivational speaker.
Also this fall, he plans to run for a seat on the HFC Board of Trustees.
“I will be running against illiteracy, darkness and negativity. I will be running to bring hope to this community. I know the meaning of hardship and struggle – that’s why I want to serve on the board. I will be honored to represent every single Dearborn student, teacher, parent, senior citizen, union member – every single resident of this great city – and reach for the stars I cannot see,” said Farhat.