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Strong Youth building a Stronger America                                          View this email in your browser
Khadija, Siyat, Isha & Samira in the Columbus City Council Chambers After Advocating for their Community
Khadija, Siyat, Isha & Samira in the Columbus City Council Chambers After Advocating for their Community - March 14, 2018

Our Youth Have Changed Columbus Forever!

Youth Empowerment Is A Real Thing At MY Project USA


Dear Family, Peace and blessings unto you, 

Last night, we had several young men from Wedgewood in our office at MY Deah's. All of them are new to us. They were planning their very first festival as organizers. I have promised them printed flyers, an audio system, a stage, food for the festival and guidance. They are supposed to take care of all other logistics to make it a successful event. After I left the meeting, they stayed for more than an hour and called me back with more creative ideas, a timeline and assignments for the festival. They are excited, and I am even more excited. I am seeing another batch of grassroots organizers budding out of the rich soil of Wedgewood Village Apartments. I can't wait to see their first festival and many more events, initiatives and projects as leaders in years to come. 

A couple decades ago, when I was a teenager, I had that fire and desire in me of changing the world for better, but I didn't have a platform that would help me transform that desire and fire into tangible projects and services that would change the world around me. There was no organization like MY Project USA that would harness my talents and energy at that time. I didn't have a mentor that would listen to my ideas, who would create a space for me and would provide me with the resources I needed to make my dreams for my community come true. As a result, much of my teenage years were wasted in cluelessness and frustration. By the time I was twenty, I was married and my role in the society was changed forever. 

As a mother and a community leader, I wanted to change that for my own children and other youth in the community. Therefore, I created MY Project USA as a platform to nurture, foster and train youth into leaders through tangible, meaningful, real, hands-on projects. 
Wedgewood Youth Leaders & Soccer Team After Cleaning Their Neighborhood
Wedgewood Youth Leaders & Soccer Team After Cleaning Their Neighborhood - May 2018
In less than four years, this organization has successfully created several platforms that are serving as the incubators of competent, compassionate, hard-working, well-informed and sincere youth leaders. We have gathered some outstanding youth mentors under our umbrella that are giving hours and hours of their volunteer time to listen, guide and help these young people in bringing out their very best. Kenny Steinman, Bill Huffman, Binish Hussain, Russ Harris, and Naser Saadeh are on the top of our mentor list. 

Last year, as a result of our strategic work, our youth were able to set records at so many levels:

MY Family Pantry, that is solely managed and run by our young leaders, mostly college students, served more than 600,000 meals and snacks last year. This year, they might might break their own record as they are passing out about 15,000 meals and snacks to more than 100 families every single Saturday. Rain, shine or snow, nothing affects their enthusiasm and quality of their service on Saturday morning. Karum Abdulrahman, Farida Eid, Bayan Shalash, Omar Dahshi, Heba Raslan, Zeenet Ahmed, Momina Tashfeen, Khalil Qutifan are on the top of that list. 

Wedgewood Youth Leaders like Samira Mohamud, Asha Bakari, Siyat Mohamed, Fadumo Mohamed, Isha Hussain along with Khadija Ibrahim on the other hands worked tirelessly to stop violence, drugs and crimes in Wedgewood through several programs in the neighborhood and their advocacy in the Columbus City Council. No doubt that our mentors played a major role in their success. All partner organizations including the principals and staff of Eakin Elementary School and the Wedgewood Middle School also played a significant role as they provided spaces and resources to learn and grow. But at the end of the day, it was the presence of this dynamic platform, MY Project USA, that helped them achieve their goals in shorter time. 

Today, we can say with full confidence that through their services and advocacy, Our Youth have Changed Columbus Forever. We have set new standards of youth-driven services, advocacy and community organizing in Columbus. Our new emerging leaders like Qali Ahmed, Inaya Hussain, Khamisey Mohamed, Raifa Alhag-Ali and all those in the planning meeting last night are walking the same path. We are amazed at their commitment and humbled for our success. 

After God, it was you, family, that made it all possible. I congratulate you all for being the pioneers of building a youth movement in Columbus, that would be replicated in Dayton soon and will eventually touch other towns and states around the country. Thank you for being great partners in this endeavor. Together, we are changing the world one step at a time. Future is brighter and bolder. These Youth Are Our Future! 

In Solidarity with Youth & Families,

Zerqa Abid
Founder & Executive Director
MY Family Pantry Directors & Volunteers After Serving 100 Plus Families
MY Family Pantry Directors & Volunteers After Serving 100 Plus Families
Click Here to Empower More Youth
Columbus Feed The Neighbors on The Day of Arafat
Sign Up To Provide Food or Volunteer Your Time

Back To School Drive By Inaya & Qali

The School Bags wil be Distributed On Monday, The Day of Arafat

Here is an Update from Our Youth Leaders

Empower A Kid With A Pencil & More

Here is an update from our dedicated youth leaders Inaya Hussain and Qali Ahmed mentored by Raifa Alhag-ali!

Please Sign up to donate by Friday August 17th!

Join us on Saturday at Back to School Pack Up Time to prepare all bags for distribution. You can also join us on Monday at Columbus Feed The Neighbors On The Day of Arafat. We will be passing the bags that day.

Sign Up Now & Brighten A Future

MY Family Pantry Served About 20,000 Meals & Snacks on August 11, 2018

Families Served - 91 ⃒ New Families Served - 7| Individuals Served - 463

Here Is Why You Should Volunteer at My Family Pantry

We are always in need of volunteers and would love to see you at the next pantry this Saturday. Without volunteers, pantry wouldn't be as great and fun as it is. It's really easy to sign up, just follow this link:

Check out our promo video, and make sure to share with family and friends! We hope to see you featured in the next one!!

If you can’t make on Saturdays, there are many others programs at MY Project USA that could use your help on other days and hour. Please check our website to check about other volunteer opportunities.

Sign Up To Volunteer Now

Girls Recreation & Wellness Advisory Board At MY Project USA

Call for Women Coaches, Players and Professionals to Join Our Program

We are very excited to announce that we are now establishing a separate board comprised of women professionals to start and manage various recreation and wellness programs for the girls and women within the refugees and immigrant communities. 

This board will focus on the protection and empowerment of our girls and women in the Wedgewood Community this year. Please contact our office if you or someone you know is interested to be part of our Girl Empowerment Program. 
Contact Us Here If Interested
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Our Office Location:
3036 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1311, Hilliard, OH 43026

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MY Project USA · PO Box 1311 · Hilliard, OH 43026 · USA