Khodr Farhat has been appointed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Council for Rehabilitation Services.
Farhat’s appointment is a continuation of his long history of serving others. He is currently the community engagement coordinator for Meridian Health Plan in Detroit, and he volunteers his time to work as publicity chair for the Eastern Michigan chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
This major career accolade comes after years of hard work with a focus on service, aligning with our mission of building leaders who make a better world.
"I have been heavily involved and engaged as a voice for the differently abled and the underprivileged community."
As a visually-impaired person, Farhat is especially dedicated to giving back and demonstrating how anyone can achieve their goals. He was named a Difference Maker during his time at the University of Michigan-Dearborn for his efforts. Since graduating, he hasn't slowed down.
Hard Work and Determination Yield Results
Farhat has utilized the power of hard work and determination to create his success and serve his community for the past 11 years. “It takes consistency, dedication, and determination. Hard work is a must and giving up should never be an option."
He learned this dedication early, both through his own experiences and through his role model, his mother. “I learned from her patience and dedication. Although she wasn’t able to complete her education because of the Civil War in Lebanon, she instilled in me the value of hard work, dedication, and faith."
Having immigrated to the United States from Beirut, Lebanon, at 16 years old, Farhat learned English and still graduated on time. He eventually became fluent in both English and Arabic, while also being able to read both languages in braille.
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The Importance of Service as a Leader
From his early days in college, Farhat has leveraged his skills and experiences to make changes that improve the lives of others.
During his time at Henry Ford College (HFC), Farhat pursued campus alterations to make the university more accessible, working with Dr. Stanley Jensen to implement braille signage in several buildings and to conduct sensitivity training.
He transferred to University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and completed graduate-level coursework in public administration and community-based education. Farhat also regularly speaks at events for the underprivileged.
Farhat credits the NSLS with providing a strong foundation for his service work. “I felt like I had a strong base and foundation [with the NSLS]. I utilize that in order to achieve my goals as a student and as a community member."
Farhat’s Advice for Future Leaders
Above all, Farhat urges future leaders to never forget who they are, because that is the unique recipe for success.
"Be yourself. It is great to have a role model, but at the end of the path, every one of us has a unique story and experiences."
Farhat’s goal is to further develop his skills and to continuously work on becoming a better leader and person, illustrating his consistent dedication to self-improvement and service.
"To me, leadership is about sacrificing, paving the way, and paying it forward. I believe that a leader should get his or her hands dirty before anybody else. I believe that leaders should encourage, strengthen, and empower everyone around them."
Service is a pillar of the NSLS. To read more about members helping others, read about this graduate who uses the sale of her puzzles to help rebuild Ukraine.