During our weekly meeting Monday, 10/2/2017, we honored Omar Sa'ad, our Florida Atlantic University High School Rotary Scholar of the Month for October 2017.  The FAU HS Rotary Scholar of the Month is selected by the FAU HS staff in recognition of character, ethics, morality, community service, and academic achievement. 

Omar will graduate from FAU HS in the spring of 2018, and he hopes to participate in the FAU Medical Pipeline and receive his Bachelor Degree in Biological Science in spring of 2019 then continue his medical education working towards serving in the field of Opthalmology.  
 
Excelling in his college courses, Omar was asked by professors to tutor some of his classmates, which he considered an honor as well as an additional learning experience.  Omar also told us he has had the pleasure of joining a research team with Dr Cristobal Salinas and their paper is currently being submitted to a research journal.
 
Unfortunately, last December brought a major setback for Omar, he was diagnosed with a partial retina detachment in his left eye.  This was more severe than it initially sounds, because he had already had a detachment in his right eye a few years prior and had not fully recovered sight in that eye.  He underwent four surgeries in a span of less than 6 months with grueling recovery periods that involved lying face down for weeks at a time and preventing him from attending class on campus.  But he persevered and took courses at home to stay on track for graduation.  
 
In contrast to his health challenges, including heart surgery as a toddler, Omar retains a strong faith, which he attributes to family, especially his mother Leila Shatara and his father Odeh.  His family and faith has developed in him a desire to help others less fortunate, one example includes helping their local Islamic Center partner with nearby churches and synagogues for recent disaster relief efforts.  He also enjoyed helping build a Habitat for Humanity home, as well as working with Project Downtown to help feed the homeless.  
 
Omar's desire to serve has prompted him to draft a proposal for a community project: the goal is to offer free physicals for back to school including screening for vision and hearing.  He hopes to recruit local business to sponsor and local doctors and specialists to volunteer for a screening day at a community center.  
 
Omar is sponsored by Jerry and Beverley Leitherer.  As the October 2017 sponsor, Jerry and Beverley will fund his recognition scholarship at our annual Rotary Scholar Gala in the spring of 2018; and they will offer encouragement, support, and mentoring for Omar throughout the year and as he continues to pursue his career.  Honorary Member Robin Barkes and FAU HS Associate Director David Kelly, key staff members that select FAU HS Rotary Scholars, joined in honoring Omar with the FAU HS Rotary Scholar for October 2017 certificate.
 
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