By SUE SUCHYTA
HEIGHTS – The late community leader Faye Awada was remembered by the City Council Jan. 23, with members of her extended family in attendance to acknowledge and celebrate her life of service.
For many years, Awada served as the director of United International Services, assisting with immigration forms, community referrals, guidance, counseling and translation services.
She also volunteered with community organizations, and served on the board of the American Human Rights Council.
Following a photo slideshow, Councilmember Hassan Ahmad spoke of Awada’s journey from a village in Lebanon to the United States in 1960, the third eldest of 12 siblings.
He said her early years were marked by challenges, especially as a young mother. She was the first in her family to pursue higher education, earning a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University, and became a licensed social worker and the founder of United International Services, which demonstrated her committed to uplifting her community.
“In her illustrious career spanning four decades, Faye left an indelible mark by assisting more than 500,000 families,” Ahmad said. “She shattered stereotypes and glass ceilings, emerging as one of the first female entrepreneurs in Michigan.”
He said her impact extended far beyond her business ventures, earning her the Community Spotlight Award for her unwavering dedication.
Ahmad said she stood as a source of inspiration, a bridge builder, an advocate for education and a compassionate soul dedicated to the service of others.
“The legacy she leaves behind continues to shape the fabric of our communities,” he said. “May the certificate symbolize not only the recognition of Faye’s achievements, but also her collective commitment to embody the spirit of service and resilience that defined her remarkable life.”
Ahmad urged others to continue the legacy of compassion, understanding and community service that she embodied.
Her son Tarik Awada said his mother committed her entire life to helping people in need.
“She truly was one of a kind and loved by many,” he said. “But the thing that truly stands out about my mother is her love for other people, especially the people of this community, and her legacy will continue through her company, United International Services, that she established more than 40 years ago.”