Omar J. Marhaba
Omar J. Marhaba
Although he now works as a Chief Technical Officer and Business Analyst for a direct sales software company, Omar’s journey through the K-12 education system was fraught with obstacles. From the fourth grade onward, Omar Jr. struggled with reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing. Despite being identified as possessing superior intelligence, he was only offered a 504 plan, which failed to provide the individualized education he needed. By middle school, he was labeled as “lazy,” “defiant,” and “too social” by school personnel and teachers, and his peers and teachers even bullied him. Omar Jr. suffered from depression and panic, and anxiety attacks as a result.
Eventually, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and multiple learning disorders but still did not qualify for special education services until high school. Although he didn’t receive the programming and services he needed, Omar Jr. graduated from high school six months early. Furthermore, he successfully completed a Business Plan competition hosted by UCLA’s Anderson School of Business Management in 2006.
Omar Jr.’s continued involvement with The Jonathan Foundation (TJF) goes beyond being a member of the Board. He and his brother Jonathan actively engage with young people with learning disabilities, serving as mentors to individuals who are facing similar struggles and experiences in school. With his firsthand experience of the challenges of navigating the education system as a student with disabilities, Omar Jr. brings a unique perspective and passion to his work with TJF.