(DEARBORN, MI) — Dearborn resident Hussein Hachem immigrated to the United States from Ain El Tineh, West Bekka in 2007 to pursue his college education.
Coming with fresh eyes, Hachem looked at Dearborn’s Lebanese-American community as a strong and influential collective of immigrants, but a place that was missing the perspective of Lebanese-American youth.
In 2009, after two years of observing community activity from a distance, he joined the Lebanese American Heritage Club (LAHC) in Dearborn to interact with other local Lebanese-Americans.
“I wanted to start something founded by the youth and led by the youth,” he recalls.
Hachem launched the LAHC Youth Leadership Committee, which has grown into one of the group’s most important projects.
“Youth now have a more important role in our community. They are initiating programs, taking care of events from A to Z, coming up with innovative ideas, and making those ideas happen,” he said.
But Hachem wasn’t satisfied with sticking to weekly and monthly meetings to connect with local youth. He says he wanted to do something “more meaningful.”
“From my job at LAHC I was able to interact with many families and I saw that there were two problems — number one: parents didn’t have time to see their kids and keep up with their education and number two: prices were outrageous so it was hard for them to afford tutoring payments.”
After graduating from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and chemical biology, Hachem started a business he called, “Educare Student Services, LLC” to solve those problems.
The company began as an after school tutoring program, but has since expanded into mentoring, college preparation, and ACT skills learning center on Mason Street in Dearborn.
The company has over 15 tutors and growing, added locations in Dearborn Heights and Canton, and daily tutoring hours in their learning center.
“Anybody that is studying they need a little help, even if you’re the smartest student. Sometimes you need a little hint so you can take the lead,” Hachem said.
He added that many of the students are of Lebanese descent and he frequently reminds them of their rich cultural history.
“The Lebanese people since the beginning of history have been people of history and education. Wherever we go, we the Lebanese people should reflect the beautiful image that love, education, and freedom are part of our roots. I hope to spread that message to the students I mentor,” he said.
Although United States culture was entirely different than what he was used to back home, Hachem recognized the importance of maintaining and promoting a cultural identity and ensuring that Lebanese-American youth follow suit.
He also says the United States has provided him with limitless opportunities for personal growth.
“When it comes to the opportunities, they are very limited in Lebanon in terms of what you can give and how you can grow. Even if you are the smartest students with many great ideas, resources are still very limited. In the United States, you have this opportunity to build, to grow, and to give back.”
Hachem has been recognized by President Barack Obama with the Call to Service Award, recognizing over 4,000 hours of community service. He has also received a leadership award from Dearborn’s Forum and Link newspaper and the 2011 Distinguished Student Leader Award from Henry Ford Community College.
For more information about Educare Student Services, LLC., visit educaremi.com.