Taheri to Speak at D’Youville Honors Convocation
Buffalo, New York – February 27, 2018 – Michael Taheri has a remarkable reputation as a criminal defense lawyer in Buffalo, but after visiting St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy in 2009, Taheri discovered that his passion and the outlet for his greatest work would be outside of the courtroom. As the special guest speaker at D’Youville’s Honors Convocation on Wednesday, March 7, Taheri will speak about the passion he has discovered for education and service to the community.
Taheri, has been named to the “The Best Lawyers of America” list and handled state and federal court cases, but now he says he answers to an even higher calling.
“I felt God was calling me to serve in education,” says Taheri.
What began simply as reading to children and teaching confirmation classes, Taheri retired from the law in 2010 so that he and his wife could dedicate their time fully to St. Luke’s. He now serves as an associate missionary and director of Our Lady of Hope (OLH) Child Services, which provides education services to St. Luke’s.
“I experienced first-hand what it meant to lack basic reading and writing skills, to not have access to the internet,” he says. “I was overwhelmed by these student experiences and felt that my wife and I could make a difference in their lives.”
Taheri takes a personal role in the lives of those who visit St. Luke’s by coordinating internship opportunities and taking students on visits to colleges and other cultural institutions.
“Seeing students graduate from college and get a job is a very powerful and emotional experience for me,” Taheri reflects. “To be part of their life and see them achieve their academic goals is a real blessing.”
In providing food, shelter, mentoring, and educational help to the city’s underserved, Taheri sees a shared mission between the D’Youville and St. Luke’s.
“D'Youville and St. Luke’s both share a deep and rich tradition of being committed to serving the most-needy in the community.”
This won’t be Taheri’s first time on campus either.
“In 2006 my father, Dr. Syde A. Taheri was the recipient of the Achievement in Health Care Award from D’Youville for his medical inventions and patents that addressed the unique problems faced by cardiac patients.”
“We’re excited to have Michael Taheri speak at D’Youville’s Honors Convocation. The Buffalo community is richer for having Taheri’s involvement,” said D'Youville President Lorrie Clemo, PhD. “Taheri’s tireless dedication to giving selflessly of his time and energy mirrors a core mission of D’Youville. We look forward to engaging our students with the rewarding community-based work Mike leads at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy.”
Since retiring, Taheri has received the Buffalo News Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award (2010), the St. Thomas More Society Award (2011), the Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award for Outstanding Service to the SUNY School of Law (2012), the Award of Merit from the Bar Association of Erie County (2013), and an Honorary Degree from Canisius College (2016).
“The mission of the college and its commitment to spiritual development and service are two components that are clearly connected to my life,” Taheri says, “Thus, there is an overlap in not only my work at St. Luke’s but also in the type of education that is being provided at D’Youville.”
Honors Convocation not only recognizes students who achieve academic success, but also those who show great leadership ability, service to the community and compassion for fellow students. A reception for students and their families will be held following the ceremony in the College Center Blue Lounge at 3:00 PM. Hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.
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