Student Ambassador Blog Articles

Growing Up as a Child of Immigrants Fueled My Passion for Optometry by SCCO Student Ambassador Ahmed Fayad

A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors, here is Ahmed Fayad. To learn more about Fayad, where he is from, and why he chose SCCO, find his bio here listed alphabetically.

Growing Up as a Child of Immigrants Fueled My Passion for Optometry

by SCCO Student Ambassador Ahmed Fayad

Fayad_AhmedGrowing up in the cultural melting pot of Southern California, I found comfort in my cultural and ethnic identity because it helped me define myself.  As a child of Egyptian immigrants with agricultural roots, hard work and resilience were core values that enriched my environment through multiple outlets that contributed to my overall development.

My early experience in healthcare was because of my grandmother whose overall eye health had been in decline. At first, the “accidents” were small, innocent, and easily brushed off. However, they continued to repeat and increase in gravity.  This fueled my desire to help her get better, and so  I researched to learn that in Egypt there is a  9% prevalence rate of glaucoma in rural towns, which paints an unfortunately common tale of how disease disproportionately affects the poor. The socioeconomic impact of glaucoma on people like my grandmother and the inequitable governmental response in addressing this problem has always been something I strive to fix in society. Whether it be my calling or my passion, I found purpose in doing well in school and pursuing higher education to help fix this problem.

Advice that I would give to first generation college students is that you are not alone.  People all around want to help with your success. Sometimes we all may feel the feeling of “Imposter Syndrome,” where we doubt our abilities and feel  like  frauds. This is never the case here at SCCO, because there are many other students who are also first gen and all will gladly help one another. Since this isn’t undergrad you never have to worry about being bounced out by a grading curve!  

Here at SCCO you are a true member of an inclusive community where all members actively seek to learn about each other, and where they cultivate relationships as classmates that will transition to relationships as  future professional colleagues.  

Contact me if you have any questions for me at

Questions or Comments? Join in on the Discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s