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September 2017: Mohammad Awad

Mohammad Awad is a second year student at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. He set a challenge for himself to get into Optometry school just after 3 years of his program (bachelor of science degree at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta), which he achieved. Mohammad Awad enjoys giving back to the community and also is very passionate to becoming a contributing member of the Optometry field. He wishes to take part in vision screening programs and dispensing of proper visual aid to the underserved members of the society.

Mohammad moved to Lebanon for grade 9-12 for both, school and to get a little closer to the Islamic tradition and Lebanese culture. He enjoys playing sports, especially soccer. Some leisure activities Mohammad loves to do in Puerto Rico is going out to the beach with his friends to play soccer or football. He also likes venturing the island and finding new places and people along the way.

His Optometry journey began when he took part in the Pre-Optometry club in Grant MacEwan University by becoming the secretary. His responsibilities were to keep people updated on upcoming events. He also loved to help his community. This included volunteering for the annual “Sponsoring Orphans Worldwide” in which all proceeds went towards a nonprofit organization called Islamic Relief Canada. This past June was the 6th annual event in which they were able to raise a tremendous amount of $333,000 dollars and sponsored 524 orphans! Sponsoring Orphans Worldwide is an event that usually take place in the month of June. Along with this event came a dinner and an auction. People usually paint a beautiful picture to donate for the auction. The paintings were then auctioned off where they were intended to raise as much money as they can.

He also takes part in the annual Taste of Ramadan back in Edmonton. Volunteers come out to cook food for the homeless and provide them with clothes. This event contains an entire day filled with live shows. Ramadan is a month of fasting from dawn to dusk. He says it really makes him feel what all the families around the world that have no food or water have to go through. This reflection made him more appreciative of what he has in life and more importantly motivates him in donating his time and professional services, as a future Optometrist, to those in need.

His future goal is to contribute his time and knowledge in areas of research and invention of such devices that will allow blind people to see. He dreams of everyone having the gift and blessing of sight.

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