From Refugee to LSC-CyFair Graduate: Student Embarks on Path to International Career
CYPRESS — Among the 2020 degree earners Lone Star College-CyFair celebrated with a virtual graduation ceremony May 29 is Riad Alhomsi, a future business entrepreneur excited for next chapter in his ever-changing life story.
“This graduation marks the end of an incredible chapter in my life and the beginning of an exciting and challenging one,” said Alhomsi, a Syrian refugee who earned his Associate of Arts Degree, Highest Honors, Leadership Track and was awarded the 2020 Honors College International Capstone Scholarship as an outstanding Merit Scholar. “Graduation reminds me that change is always happening in our lives. I’m leaving some of the best memories behind, but I’m excited for what the future is holding for me.”
Alhomsi’s plans are to earn his bachelor’s at the McCombs School of Business, transfer to Columbia University for his master’s and start his career in New York City.
“Living in multiple countries and experiencing different cultures, I’ve always loved traveling and learning about new cultures around the world,” he said. “My dream is to own an international real estate agency and own restaurants around the world.”
That’s what’s next, but Alhomsi’s story began eight years ago in Syria. It was June 24, 2012 to be exact, when he and his family had to flee to Jordan, leaving everything they knew and loved behind. Though no longer in a war zone, they faced other obstacles such as not being allowed to work, drive or even own a car. While in school, Alhomsi and a group of friends would take blankets and clothes to Syrian refugee camps. They also helped teach younger children to read and write. Five years later, his family had moved to the United States with hopes to “live the American dream and a better life.”
“From my past experiences in life and going through all the things I’ve been through, I learned to always make the most out of any experience and life in general,” said Alhomsi, a Cypress Woods High School graduate who started at LSC-CyFair in the Honors College as a Presidential Scholar. “Whereever I go, I always tells people about the amazing experiences and opportunities I had at LSC-CyFair.”
He is most proud of his two years as a National Model United Nations participant, in which he not only served as the Honors College Delegation team lead, but was an Outstanding Delegate Award recipient. As a delegate he got to travel, learn to be a diplomat and gain public speaking and leadership skills.
Alhomsi said what makes LSC-CyFair’s learning experience incredible are the diversity of backgrounds of the people he met and the connections he made with faculty who truly care about student success.
Professors Esther Robinson and Laura Taggett describe Alhomsi as “one of the kindest young men” who was an integral part of the Honors College, taking on multiple leadership roles, actively serving his peers and making a difference on the LSC-CyFair campus.
“The commitment of this outstanding scholar and servant leader to achieving his educational goals has made him a tremendous role model among his peers,” said LSC-CyFair President Dr. Seelpa Keshvala. “We wish Riad and all our graduates the best as they enter the next chapter in their lives.”
Fall registration is underway at LoneStar.edu/registration. To see the LSC-CyFair 2020 graduation celebration video, click here.
Helping more than 22,000 students reach their academic and career goals, Lone Star College-CyFair is the 5th comprehensive college in the Lone Star College System, located at 9191 Barker Cypress Road just three miles south of U.S. Highway 290. Start close and go far at LSC-CyFair as well as at LSC-Cypress Center, located at 19710 Clay Road and LSC-Westway Park Technology Center, located at 5060 Westway Park Boulevard. For more information about LSC-CyFair and its programs, call 281.290.3200 or visit LoneStar.edu/cyfair.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, 10 centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.
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