Donor support and a student’s ambition promote future success
James and May Bell Loeb Scholarship recipient Gevino Kassab expresses gratitude for the support that has shaped his UM-Dearborn experience thus far, and looks forward to accomplishing his career goals
For College of Business sophomore Gevino Kassab, attending UM-Dearborn has been a life-changing experience for which he is deeply grateful. “I decided to attend UM-Dearborn because of the campus’s incredible diversity, which helped me drastically improve my communication skills and learn more about people of all different backgrounds,” he says.
He also appreciates the small class sizes, which offer plenty of opportunities to interact with professors and classmates, and create a more personal environment in which students can thrive. Perhaps most important, the campus community has encouraged his personal and professional development, and is helping him achieve his future academic and career goals.
He can already see the impact UM-Dearborn has had in shaping his experience and guiding him toward success. “UM-Dearborn has helped me become more outgoing and confident in myself. Additionally, my business courses…have helped me better understand what goes into managing and starting a business, which I apply to my family’s business models,” he says.
He acknowledges that this experience is made possible by the support he has received. “The James and May Bell Loeb Scholarship was a blessing to my family and [me]. When I found out that I received this scholarship, I realized how much my hard work actually paid off. It means so much more to me than just its monetary value; it has given me the opportunity to achieve a better life.”
Kassab is determined to seize the opportunities offered at UM-Dearborn, and is already looking toward the future, which is reflected in the thought process behind his degree choice. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so I decided that a degree in finance would benefit me the most considering I could bring new ideas to the table,” he explains.
The leadership experience and collaborative techniques that are essential to a UM-Dearborn education have prepared him for his future role in his family’s business endeavors and give him more confidence to succeed. “I believe that with teamwork between the rest of my family and [me], we can create very successful businesses that will enable us to provide for future generations of our family and our community,” he says.
He has already formed a plan to make these goals a reality, which includes him drawing on the knowledge and skills he has acquired during his university experience to expand his family’s business ventures and invest in different types of businesses. “I want to go outside our comfort zone because I believe this will help us learn and grow more,” he says.
Kassab admits that his journey to get to this point has not always been easy. Because his mother provides necessary around-the-clock care for his youngest brother, Salvador, who suffers from cerebral palsy and severe status epilepticus, the family of nine depends entirely on his father’s income. Understanding the stress and pressure this can cause makes Kassab all the more grateful for the people who have supported and encouraged him, especially because receiving this scholarship allows him to pursue his degree and alleviates his family’s financial burden.
“My parents were not privileged with the opportunity to attend university, so I know how truly blessed I am and I never take it for granted,” he says. As a result, he chooses to see the positive in every challenge and finds a source of constant motivation in his family.
“As a first-generation college student, it can be challenging at times because I do not really have many mentors to help me through my educational experience. Although, I believe that this could also be considered a blessing in disguise because of the fact that making mistakes and learning from them makes me stronger and wiser. It’s a truly accomplishing feeling to make my family proud and that’s what I strive for the most,” Kassab says.
He appreciates the support that has helped make his experience possible, and the impact of the scholarship extends beyond just one student. In addition to empowering Kassab to attend UM-Dearborn, it provides him with an opportunity to achieve a better future for his family and community. As Kassab explains, “the James and May Bell Loeb Scholarship motivated me to continue my hard work so that someday I could change the lives of students like myself and give back to my community.”
Kassab’s time at UM-Dearborn has laid a foundation for his personal and professional future, and he is confident that, with perseverance and support, he will continue to succeed. “I have had nothing but amazing experiences at UM-Dearborn. I have built strong friendships with countless people and am incredibly grateful that I am part of the UM-Dearborn community. Overall, I am excited for what the following years will have in store for me,” he says.