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"HCC helped me get serious about my education and complete a program in a timely manner."
Harford Community College alumnus Faras Aamir will graduate with a bachelor’s degree before most of his friends who started at four-year colleges. This hard-working student is also a social media guru with more than a million views on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram combined.
Originally from Pakistan, Faras lives in Bel Air. He graduated with honors from HCC in 2015 and transferred to Towson University. Entering his senior year at TU, he is part of the Honors College and is working toward a bachelor’s in Mass Communications - Journalism & New Media Track with a minor in Electronic Media & Film.
“HCC is a smart, efficient way to start your first two years of college. They make it easy to transfer credits and set you up to graduate on time. You are taking a lot of the same general classes for the first two years of college anyway, so I don’t see a single drawback of taking the community college route.”
Faras gained valuable experience working on the Owl Magazine during his years at Harford. He served as Art Director and eventually designed feature issues, boosted social media campaigns, and implemented video to the magazine. HCC Associate Professor and Owl Magazine advisor Claudia Brown helped Faras to achieve his goals. He stated, “Claudia Brown deserves a lot of credit for allowing me to explore my creativity. College was a surprise to me because I was never good in grade school like my well-achieved siblings. I felt like there was always a box that I was being forced to think inside of. Claudia pushed me to make my own decisions and never settle for good enough. She trusted me as a leader and example for the other students and always treated me like a true professional at my craft. I was able to apply many of the skills I used along the way to get me where I am today.”
He continued, “HCC helped me get serious about my education and complete a program in a timely manner. I landed an internship as a producer at Voice of America in my first semester after being asked to shadow a journalist in Claudia Brown’s Journalism class. With the magazine, I was able to also go to a College Media Convention in Philadelphia for a weekend and museums in Washington, D.C. for a reasonable price.”
Faras added, “I enjoyed the classes I took at Harford even if they had nothing to do with my major or career field. I’m glad I started there.”
He is well versed in social media. “I’m on YouTube as Farosty. I love art and I love culture so by combining my experiences with my poetry, music, and cinematography, I am able to give people insight into my world and my visions. Some of my content is deep and spiritual, while my more popular content is light-hearted comedy that exaggerates Pakistani culture in a funny way. Combined on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I have received a couple million views. My goal is simply to be myself, whether that means to be passionate or goofy so that others may see me as a human before trying to fit me into a stigma with their perceptions of what a Muslim or Pakistani is ‘supposed to be.’ I am constantly being inspired from music, movies, and poetry, so if I can use the same tactic to get my word out, that is the best way in doing my part to educate people.”
He has earned numerous awards, but is most proud of a Youth Excellence Award he received from former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley for “promoting social change through entertaining videos.” He also received 12 Owlsy Awards from the Owl Magazine and national recognition for some of his publications. In addition, he received the Journalism Club Leadership Award at HCC. He has many published stories on the Baltimore Watchdog website and has been featured as a guest or interviewed on multiple international TV spots, radio shows, and newspapers for his videos.
Faras is currently a Social Media/Marketing Intern at Mojo Art & Image, dealing with promotional material for clients and creating media material to boost engagement for them. He also works as a Creative Director (contractor) at DadTriad Design Ecosystems, where he works on bigger projects for clients who need photography, promotional videos, marketing materials, etc. In addition, he freelances in audio/video, photography, editing, and design.
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