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Omar Hussain

1315

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Currently studying at Stony Brook University on the premed track. I'm hoping to become an Ophthalmologist, as I’ve had a long history with my own eye condition and am fascinated with how they operate. I hope to get out of my comfort zone and enter the world of medicine in order to improve the lives of others and give back to my doctors and family who have watched me grow up and helped me throughout my entire life.

Education

Stony Brook University

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Biology, General

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

    -
  • Transfer schools of interest:

    -
  • Majors of interest:

    -
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medicine

    • Dream career goals:

      -
    • Tutor

      Ahsan's Learning Center
      2021 – Present3 years

    Research

    • Natural Sciences

      Stony Brook University Ecotoxicology DepartmentResearcher
      2023 – 2023

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Luv MichealAdvocating for autism awareness
      2020 – 2021
    • Public Service (Politics)

      Working Families PartyText Banker
      2021 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Village Temple Soup KitchenAssistant
      2018 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Volunteering

    Manny and Sylvia Weiner Medical Scholarship
    Growing up with a visible disability, my journey towards becoming a medical doctor has been marked by personal challenges, unwavering determination, and a deep-seated commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. From a young age, the specter of potential blindness due to glaucoma and cataracts cast a shadow over my childhood, yet it also ignited within me a profound appreciation for the transformative potential of medical care and sparked my passion for ophthalmology. My earliest memories are filled with hospital visits, surgeries, and the palpable anxiety that accompanies facing life-altering medical decisions. At just eleven days old, I was diagnosed with glaucoma and cataracts in both eyes, prompting immediate surgical intervention to preserve my vision. Each operation, each recovery, and each setback strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in medicine—a field that had not only saved my sight but also offered hope and healing to countless others. Growing up with a visible disability presented its own set of challenges. Bullied and ostracized by peers who saw only my differences, I learned firsthand the importance of resilience and the power of compassion. My father, a taxi driver working tirelessly to support our family, was my unwavering source of support and inspiration. His sacrifices taught me the value of empathy and instilled within me a deep-seated desire to pay it forward—to be a beacon of hope for others facing similar obstacles. While enrolling in college marked a significant milestone in my journey, it also brought with it a new set of challenges. Financial constraints and societal barriers threatened to derail my aspirations, yet they only fueled my determination to overcome adversity and make a meaningful impact in the field of medicine. My experiences have endowed me with a unique perspective—a perspective shaped by empathy, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to advocating for those who often go unheard. As I embark on the next chapter of my journey, my goal is not merely to become a medical doctor but to redefine what it means to practice medicine with compassion and inclusivity at its core. My personal experiences navigating the healthcare system while facing physical and societal barriers have equipped me with a deep understanding of the challenges that many individuals, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds, face on a daily basis. I am determined to use my platform as a medical doctor to advocate for inclusive healthcare practices and equitable access to medical care, particularly for individuals with disabilities. By leveraging my unique perspective and experiences, I hope to not only provide compassionate care to those in need but also to effect meaningful change within the medical community—a change rooted in empathy, understanding, and a steadfast commitment to serving others. In conclusion, my journey towards becoming a medical doctor has been shaped by personal challenges, unwavering determination, and a deep-seated commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Despite the obstacles I have faced along the way, I am steadfast in my resolve to redefine what it means to practice medicine with compassion and inclusivity, and to advocate for those who often go unheard.
    Frank and Patty Skerl Educational Scholarship for the Physically Disabled
    Navigating the world as a member of the disabled community, stemming from early encounters with glaucoma and cataracts, has sculpted my worldview in profound ways. At a mere eleven days old, I teetered on the brink of potential blindness, a precarious moment that would mark the beginning of a journey shaped by resilience, empathy, and an unyielding determination to effect change. The surgical crossroads I faced at six weeks old cast a shadow of uncertainty, with odds split evenly between retaining sight in one eye or facing a world cloaked in perpetual darkness. This pivotal juncture, where hope collided with fear, imprinted upon me a lasting sense of gratitude for the sight I was fortunate enough to retain. It instilled in me a profound awareness of the fragility of perception and the intrinsic value of every moment gifted with vision. However, the journey beyond that pivotal surgery was marked by hurdles beyond the physical realm. Growing up, my visible disability made me a target for ridicule and bullying. The disparaging names like “Three Eyes” and the unkind jibes about my appearance left an indelible mark. Yet, amidst the cruelty of peers, there was an unwavering source of support: my father. Despite his exhaustion from long night shifts as a taxi driver, my father ensured I felt no different from any other child. His tireless efforts to shield me from exclusion and to nurture my sense of belonging were the bedrock of my resilience. His sacrifices to offer moments of joy amid hardships taught me the profound significance of empathy and kindness, shaping my conviction to advocate for inclusivity. My journey as part of the disabled community taught me to perceive the world through a lens of empathy and resilience. It unveiled the societal misconceptions and barriers faced by individuals like me, fostering within me an unshakeable commitment to challenge these perceptions. As I journey towards becoming an ophthalmologist, the memory of my own surgical interventions fuels my passion to ensure others do not face similar critical crossroads without support. Beyond clinical excellence, I aspire to be an advocate for change. I aim to pioneer initiatives that not only break down barriers but foster understanding and acceptance. I seek to create spaces where disabilities are seen not as limitations but as unique facets contributing to the rich tapestry of human diversity. My father's sacrifices, the battles with bullying, and the surgical precipice I encountered form the foundation of my aspirations. They propel me to integrate my personal experiences into my professional pursuits, aiming to illuminate a path towards a more inclusive and empathetic world—one where differences are celebrated and barriers dissolve in the face of understanding and acceptance.
    @ESPdaniella Disabled Degree Scholarship
    Winner
    My encounter with potential blindness at infancy due to glaucoma and cataracts fuels my aspiration to redefine ophthalmology. Rushed into surgery at six weeks old, facing a fifty-fifty chance of losing my sight, instilled a profound determination to transform care for individuals navigating similar visual challenges. Aspiring to specialize in ophthalmology, my journey drives a commitment to innovate treatments, reshaping accessibility and care. The alarming enlargement of my left eye at eleven days old hinted toward permanent blindness, prompting immediate surgical intervention. Balancing between vision and darkness, intensifies my dedication to prevent others from facing such struggle. My core mission resonates deeply: erasing isolation and misconceptions tied to visible disabilities. Through diligent practice, I aim to deliver advanced treatments ensuring enhanced vision restoration and adaptive strategies. Beyond clinical practice, I envision nurturing an environment where individuals feel empowered, understood, and equipped to confidently navigate the world. My ambitions extend beyond the clinic. I aim to advocate for inclusive practices and fair access to eye care services, collaborating with communities to foster empathy and break down barriers. My journey propels me to offer expertise and empathy, envisioning a future where visual impairments spark innovation, compassion conquers barriers, and individuals flourish unhindered.
    Marian "Nana" Rouche Memorial Scholarship
    On July 4th, 2004, after examination by doctors at Elmhurst Hospital, a healthy newborn was held in his parents’ arms — or so everyone had thought. Not much time had passed when the father noticed that the child’s left eye was growing and appeared larger than his right. The baby was only eleven days old when he was taken back to the hospital and examined once again. Despite the hopes of the parents for a healthy firstborn, the doctor confirmed their fears and diagnosed the baby with glaucoma and cataract in both eyes. That child, who was at risk of complete blindness, was me: Omar Hussain. At six weeks old, I was sent into the operating room for the first time. My parents were told that the operation had a fifty percent chance of success. If all went to plan, I would be able to see, but at the cost of losing my right eye. However, if it failed, my vision would be lost forever. This eye surgery would be one of the many I have had throughout my life, and yet it was the one that preserved hope for my future. If my parents hadn’t rushed me to the hospital that day, my life today could have looked dramatically different. After saving my left eye, at seven weeks old, I began wearing glasses. Growing up, I knew I wasn’t a “normal” child due to my disability. I was bullied because of my disability. My right eye was tiny, and my glasses were thick. To this day, being called names like “Three Eyes” because one eye didn’t work still remains etched in my mind. However, my disability made no difference to my father. He treated me just as any other child so I wouldn’t feel excluded. Despite exhaustion from long nights as a taxi driver trying to make ends meet, he still took me to playgrounds so I could enjoy my childhood. It was from his sacrifices that I learned the importance of generosity. I aspire to take after my dad, who offers help to those around him. The obstacles I have faced have influenced me to become more compassionate toward others and shaped me into a more ambitious person. The reason I was drawn to the sciences as a child was my frequent visits to the eye clinic: watching the doctors, who practically became family, and visiting the optician for specially made glasses, asking if my current ones fit. I was awestruck as they worked their machines, and wanted to follow their footsteps by becoming an ophthalmologist. With an interest in medicine, I hope to understand what causes people, regardless of disability or illness, to struggle in their lives and help them get through it; not because it's my job, but because I wish to help others as I have been helped. Through this, I hope to not only serve my community but most importantly, give back to my family, whom have always made sacrifices so I can succeed.
    Cheryl Twilley Outreach Memorial Scholarship
    On July 4th, 2004, after examination by doctors at Elmhurst Hospital, a healthy newborn was held in his parents’ arms — or so everyone had thought. Not much time had passed when the father noticed that the child’s left eye was growing and appeared larger than his right. The baby was only eleven days old when he was taken back to the hospital and examined once again. Despite the hopes of the parents for a healthy firstborn, the doctor confirmed their fears and diagnosed the baby with glaucoma and cataract in both eyes. That child, who was at risk of complete blindness, was me: Omar Hussain. At six weeks old, I was sent into the operating room for the first time. My parents were told that the operation had a fifty percent chance of success. If all went to plan, I would be able to keep my sight, but at the cost of losing my right eye. However, if it failed, my vision would be lost entirely forever. This eye surgery would come to be one of the many I have had throughout my life, and yet it was the one that preserved hope for my future. If my parents hadn’t rushed me to the hospital that day, my life today could have looked dramatically different. After saving my left eye, at seven weeks old, I began wearing glasses. Growing up, I knew I wasn’t like a “normal” child due to my disability. I would often be bullied because of my visible disability. My left eye was large, while the right was tiny, and my glasses were large with wide lenses. Even to this day, being called names like “Three Eyes” because one eye didn’t work still remains vividly etched in my mind. However, my disability made no difference to my father. He made sure to treat me just as any other child so I wouldn’t feel excluded. Despite being exhausted from the long night shifts as a taxi driver, trying to make ends meet to support the family, he still took me to playgrounds so that I could enjoy my childhood. It was from his sacrifices that I learned the importance of generosity. I aspire to take after my dad, who always offered a helping hand to those around him. The obstacles I have faced since birth have influenced me to become more compassionate toward others and have also shaped me into a more ambitious person. The reason I was drawn to the sciences as a child was my frequent visits to the eye clinic: watching the doctors, who practically became family to me, checking my eye pressure and visiting the optician for specially made glasses, asking if my current ones fit tight enough. I was awestruck when they worked their machines, and I became determined to follow in their footsteps and become an ophthalmologist. With an interest in medical sciences, I hope to gain a better understanding of the human body so I can understand the factors that cause people, regardless of disability or illness, to struggle in their everyday lives and help them get through it; not because it's my job but because I wish to help others as I have been helped all my life. Through this, I hope to not only serve my community but most importantly, give back to my family, the people that have always made sacrifices so that I can succeed.
    Goobie-Ramlal Education Scholarship
    On July 4th, 2004, after examination by doctors at Elmhurst Hospital, a healthy newborn was held in his parents’ arms — or so everyone had thought. Not much time had passed when the father noticed that the child’s left eye was growing and appeared larger than his right. The baby was only eleven days old when he was taken back to the hospital and examined once again. Despite the hopes of the parents for a healthy firstborn, the doctor confirmed their fears and diagnosed the baby with glaucoma and cataract in both eyes. That child, who was at risk of complete blindness, was me: Omar Hussain. At six weeks old, I was sent into the operating room for the first time. My parents were told that the operation had a fifty percent chance of success. If all went to plan, I would be able to keep my sight, but at the cost of losing my right eye. However, if it failed, my vision would be lost entirely forever. This eye surgery would come to be one of the many I have had throughout my life, and yet it was the one that preserved hope for my future. If my parents hadn’t rushed me to the hospital that day, my life today could have looked dramatically different. After saving my left eye, at seven weeks old, I began wearing glasses. Growing up, I knew I wasn’t like a “normal” child due to my disability. I would often be bullied because of my visible disability. My left eye was large, while the right was tiny, and my glasses were large with wide lenses. Even to this day, being called names like “Three Eyes” because one eye didn’t work still remains vividly etched in my mind. However, my disability made no difference to my father. He made sure to treat me just as any other child so I wouldn’t feel excluded. Despite being exhausted from the long night shifts as a taxi driver, trying to make ends meet to support the family, he still took me to playgrounds so that I could enjoy my childhood. It was from his sacrifices that I learned the importance of generosity. I aspire to take after my dad, who always offered a helping hand to those around him. The obstacles I have faced since birth have influenced me to become more compassionate toward others and have also shaped me into a more ambitious person. The reason I was drawn to the sciences as a child was my frequent visits to the eye clinic: watching the doctors, who practically became family to me, checking my eye pressure and visiting the optician for specially made glasses, asking if my current ones fit tight enough. I was awestruck when they worked their machines, and I became determined to follow in their footsteps and become an ophthalmologist. With an interest in medical sciences, I hope to gain a better understanding of the human body so I can understand the factors that cause people, regardless of disability or illness, to struggle in their everyday lives and help them get through it; not because it's my job but because I wish to help others as I have been helped all my life. Through this, I hope to not only serve my community but most importantly, give back to my family, the people that have always made sacrifices so that I can succeed.
    Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
    On July 4th, 2004, after examination by doctors at Elmhurst Hospital, a healthy newborn was held in his parents’ arms — or so everyone had thought. Not much time had passed when the father noticed that the child’s left eye was growing and appeared larger than his right. The baby was only eleven days old when he was taken back to the hospital and examined once again. Despite the hopes of the parents for a healthy firstborn, the doctor confirmed their fears and diagnosed the baby with glaucoma and cataract in both eyes. That child, who was at risk of complete blindness, was me: Omar Hussain. At six weeks old, I was sent into the operating room for the first time. My parents were told that the operation had a fifty percent chance of success. If all went to plan, I would be able to keep my sight, but at the cost of losing my right eye. However, if it failed, my vision would be lost entirely forever. This eye surgery would come to be one of the many I have had throughout my life, and yet it was the one that preserved hope for my future. If my parents hadn’t rushed me to the hospital that day, my life today could have looked dramatically different. After saving my left eye, at seven weeks old, I began wearing glasses. Growing up, I knew I wasn’t like a “normal” child due to my disability. I would often be bullied because of my visible disability. My left eye was large, while the right was tiny, and my glasses were large with wide lenses. Even to this day, being called names like “Three Eyes” because one eye didn’t work still remains vividly etched in my mind. However, my disability made no difference to my father. He made sure to treat me just as any other child so I wouldn’t feel excluded. Despite being exhausted from the long night shifts as a taxi driver, trying to make ends meet to support the family, he still took me to playgrounds so that I could enjoy my childhood. It was from his sacrifices that I learned the importance of generosity. I aspire to take after my dad, who always offered a helping hand to those around him. The obstacles I have faced since birth have influenced me to become more compassionate toward others and have also shaped me into a more ambitious person. The reason I was drawn to the sciences as a child was my frequent visits to the eye clinic: watching the doctors, who practically became family to me, checking my eye pressure and visiting the optician for specially made glasses, asking if my current ones fit tight enough. I was awestruck when they worked their machines, and I became determined to follow in their footsteps and become an ophthalmologist. With an interest in medical sciences, I hope to gain a better understanding of the human body so I can understand the factors that cause people, regardless of disability or illness, to struggle in their everyday lives and help them get through it; not because it's my job but because I wish to help others as I have been helped all my life. Through this, I hope to not only serve my community but most importantly, give back to my family, the people that have always made sacrifices so that I can succeed.
    Al-Haj Abdallah R Abdallah Muslim Scholarship
    I'm currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Biology at Stony Brook University. I want to become an ophthalmologist and attend medical school so that I can follow in the footsteps of the people I look up to. My strengths are there I'm attentive and always try to make time for those around me. I care about my friends and family a lot and I want to do everything I can to help them in return for all that they've done for me, whether it's providing money or just being there to listen to somebody. My weaknesses are mostly that I don't have very high self-confidence and I feel as though I make mistakes a lot even when I have good intentions. I'm trying to work on them and learn from those mistakes to make the lives of those around me easier. My name is Omar Hussain, an aspiring ophthalmologist. I am a first-generation Bengali American who has one working left eye and 3 younger siblings. My father immigrated to America from Bangladesh and married my mother after he became a citizen. I'm the first child and I almost went blind soon after I was born. When I was six weeks old, my father discovered that my eyes were two different sizes. He hurried to the hospital with my mother and the doctors performed emergency surgery. My father had told me that the doctors said the surgery only had a fifty-fifty chance of saving only my left eye. By Allah's will, the surgery was successful and from then on I have spent my entire life with only one functioning eye. I've undergone many surgeries since then due to complications and pain in my eyes but with time After many doctor's visits, I began to appreciate and become inspired by all the doctors and residents in training who have helped me over the past 19 years. From then on, I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps and become someone who can help others protect their vision and their health. I believe I should earn this scholarship because after all the trials and struggles I've been through, and the miracle of sight that Allah has preserved for me, I can learn and become someone who does what my doctors had done for me and help ease the pain or solve the problems of those who are losing their sight. I want to protect others' eyes as much as I do my own because Allah allowed my doctors to save mine. To do so, I'd like to ease the burden of my family who insist on supporting my college studies to focus on becoming a doctor. My favorite book is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It's a great book that has helped me immensely with self-improvement and my way of life As a Muslim, my greatest achievement was finishing the Quran 3 times. While I haven't studied it to understand it, I'm happy that I was able to read it and finish it 3 times with the help of a teacher. Becoming closer to Allah and trying to pray all of my daily prayers and donating my first paycheck to my local mosque was also important to me because it was an improvement from how I was before. Thanks to Allah's will, I've survived many difficulties both mild and life-threatening and I wish that I can help others the way I have been helped.
    Maida Brkanovic Memorial Scholarship
    "Focus, and try again. You should know this because they taught you in school" my father had said. He sat across the living room table, looking at me as I held the pencil in my hand dumbfounded. I was working on tonight's math homework so I could submit it to my third-grade teacher, and my dad decided he would help me with it as I practiced long division before work. "I don't know," I said, and he repeated the same line: focus and try again. It was then that I knew that my father couldn't help me; he didn't know how. As the oldest son, my life is full of things that neither my parents nor siblings have ever encountered before. A life full of unknown situations and unfamiliar answers. Raising a child with a disability, going to school, and helping with homework; all these things were new for my parents, as well as for me because I didn't know anybody who could help me. Being a first-generation student, there's just so much that my family and I never knew. From learning math to understanding college; these were all things that my family and I needed to adapt to because nobody in our family had ever experienced it before. My father and mother both had high school level education but weren't able to help with many things because they were busy working while in school and taking care of themselves as immigrants in the United States, but that's okay I had to learn to balance my culture as a Bengali American in the US as well as understand and learn how society works in America as a student and a citizen. I had to learn how to accept my disabilities and my faults in a world where appearances and ability are everything. I didn't know, my parents didn't know and neither did anyone we knew at the time, but that's okay. I learned and studied hard. I accepted my flaws, learned my culture and learned to read, write, add, subtract, speak and understand. As a first-generation college student, I'm learning what my parents couldn't, and teaching them to my siblings, neighbors and peers while keeping my identity and culture and accepting that there are things we don't know. It's okay to not understand how to solve a problem, and it's okay if we struggle with challenges. We must learn through others, if not ourselves, and spread our knowledge to those who come after us. Whether they be friends, family, colleagues or strangers. Everyone who has learned a skill or understands an experience was once someone who didn't know it either. To help those in need, we have to spread our knowledge so that one day, the person who learns can also be a person who teaches. It's okay to be unfamiliar with a system like the US college system. It's okay not to know what your next step in life will be. If you can learn from others, or gain that knowledge yourself, you have already become a better person than you were before. I learned and taught my own family about the college enrollment process and requirements for my future career as a healthcare worker. None of us knew at the start, but that's a part of life. Fearing the unknown is normal, but understanding it, grasping it and sharing that knowledge is the most crucial step to progress. Life is full of problems, and sometimes we know them. Other times, we don't. Nevertheless, it's okay if we try to learn how. That's what I believe as someone who has gone through many unknowns.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    My dream version of myself is a doctor who is a reflection of my father; a man that is isn't afraid to speak his mind and is understanding, committed, intelligent, kind, passionate, decisive and partakes in hobbies such as fitness.