It’s less a hobby as much as it is just something that is an integral part of who Muhammad Farhan Babar is deep down.
Volunteering his time to help others has helped shape the George Mason University freshman and Honors College member into the selfless young man he’s become.
And Farhan, as he’s known to those closest to him, says he’d have it no other way.
“Volunteering has always been a big thing for me,” said the 18-year-old Early Identification Program (EIP) graduate and aspiring computer science major from Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia. “It’s just something I do and it’s really shaped my personality. It’s changed me a lot. It’s shaped how I think, who I am and how I view life.”
Those who know Babar are hardly surprised. Khaseem Davis, the director of EIP, recalled Babar as a great student who had immediately made a positive impression on him.
“He was always pleasant, respectful and super inquisitive,” Davis said. “I’ve learned you can tell the quality of a student by the types of questions they ask. Farhan didn’t waste words, was always direct and asked questions of substance. I am happy he chose Mason, and I only see him excelling in his studies.”
Babar, who grew up in nearby Prince William County, is one of four boys and had originally dreamed of being a doctor. He credited one of his brothers for getting him started volunteering at a local medical center during his junior year of high school. His duties there often included signing patients in at the front desk, visiting patients in their rooms to see if they needed anything, and fixing beds, among other chores.
Babar has a history giving of himself to help others. He was just a freshman in high school when he first began tutoring middle school students in math, including his younger brother.
“It’s incredibly satisfying when you see them start to get it,” he said.
Babar hopes to do more of the same as he gets his bearings and becomes more acclimated to his new surrounding on Mason’s Fairfax Campus. His volunteer experiences have prepared him well, giving him more patience and a broader world view.
“I believe that everybody should have that opportunity,” he said.