Meet the Grads: Hamed Hamed Finds Inspiration in Family

May 12, 2023

Inspired by the bravery and resilience of his parents, Hamed Hamed has thrived at NOVA and will graduate next week with an A.S. in Engineering. Hamed hopes to apply his love of technology to the healthcare field and discover medical advancements through artificial intelligence.

Hamed Hamed

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
I was born and raised in Virginia by two loving parents. Fleeing political instability, my parents left Eritrea and came to America in hopes of providing a better situation for my three siblings and me. Despite their unfamiliarity with America, my parents left everything behind and came to a country that was brand new to us all. We currently live in Virginia, where I have spent most of my life.

What brought you to NOVA?
After my family arrived in America, it was challenging to adjust, both financially and socially. We were new to American systems, so it was bit tough. We weren’t sure where the resources were. When my parents started working, they worked multiple jobs to provide for my family. Once COVID hit, this was increased to a greater magnitude when our household’s main provider, my dad, could no longer work. My mom was a healthcare provider, so she was working on the front lines for long hours. It took a toll on all of us. Finances were tight. It was at that point that I found NOVA.

NOVA has allowed me to explore my academic interests and apply myself within its diverse community. It has facilitated a means for me to afford college while still being close to my family and allowing me to look after my siblings. Even though I had applied to other colleges, the financial packages they offered were still beyond my reach. NOVA made college possible!

What are you studying right now?
Right now, I am pursuing an associate in engineering with a focus in computer science.

My father was the one who first sparked my interest in studying engineering and computer science. One summer when I was younger, I was working with my dad in a computer shop and got a chance to interact with some of the core computer parts. I became fascinated with the intricate pieces, and how, when put together, they could create something revolutionary. That sparked my curiosity for technology and computers. My interest slowly developed as I grew older. Through my high school years, I started to experiment with programming. At NOVA, I’ve been able to build upon those skills. I’m glad I got the chance to study at NOVA, as it has given me a foundation in my studies that I’ve been able to use both inside and outside the classroom.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?
I would encourage students to have an open mind coming to NOVA. There's such a rich, diverse community of students and faculty here who can really open your perspective. I can attest to that. I’ve met so many people from different parts of the world who have opened my perspective. I've made meaningful connections with them, and it's just been an amazing experience. It's also a journey of self-learning -- taking the time out to learn different things, join different communities and get a sense of what you like. Time flies, so just enjoy it and try to be present in the moment. Make those meaningful memories! 

Where do you see yourself after NOVA?
 I hope to continue my computer science education at a university and further delve into the topics of artificial intelligence and machine learning. I am also interested in working with A.I. and M.L. [machine learning] in the healthcare field to help with disease detection and prosthetics production. I enjoy helping others, which is something I picked up from my mother. My studies will help me combine my interest in technology in a way that can help others.

I would say, as cliché as it may sound, there is no goal that is too big for you to accomplish. The best prerequisite is to believe in yourself!

Topics: featured article, student success