Lesson Learned In Wedgewood Could Be Replicated Elsewhere
Dear Family, Peace and blessings unto you,
For almost two year, I have been constantly asking you to give your time, money, in-kind donations and prayers to protect and empower hundreds of children trapped in the Wedgewood Village Apartments on the Westside of Columbus. Today I am delighted to share with you so many positive news.
So many of us at MY Project USA have been working very hard for months to run as many programs as possible to keep as many children as possible away from drug dealers, gangsters and pimps. Many of us, including myself, volunteered hours and hours to get the work done. Due to the lack of money, we scrambled, slowed down and served fewer children, but we never stopped. While providing services, the Wedgewood Youth Leaders and I kept advocating for our community. We kept dreaming big and kept sharing our dreams with others around us. We kept engaging you and you kept answering our calls.
Today by the grace of God, we stand in peace that we have secured enough money and resources to kick off and maintain a few programs at more professional level than ever before for at least a year. Thanks to the Columbus City Council, Columbus Police Division and all of our donors and volunteers, we have more peace and optimism and less crimes and no shooting in our neighborhood for a year. The friendly constant presence of police officers, the social events, the see something say something campaign, the clean building initiatives, the youth programs and the adult classes/meetings are already working in this community. With this new budget and more team members, we hope to uplift this community to a new level.
There is so much hope in this story. How a community that had seen 17 shootings and seven homicides in the first eight months last year is now getting ready to have a productive year for all. Together we have turned the tables and have started a process of construction, peace and prosperity. While we know that there will still be bumps and hurdles on our way, we are prepared to not only face them but also to pull other communities forward by sharing our story and experiences with them.
Please scroll down and read the details of each good news below. Keep us in your prayers and continue contributing to our work however you could. Together, we are building our legacy. Together, we are building a safer and better world for our next generations. With God's grace, future is bright and beautiful!
In Solidarity with Youth & Families,
Founder & Executive Director
Columbus City Council Funds Wedgewood Soccer Program
A Soccer Advisory Board to Manage and Execute the Program for Multiple Teams
Thanks to all the hard sincere work of our team for more than a year and the advocacy of our youth leaders, last week the Council approved a grant ($68,850) to support and expand our youth soccer program in the Wedgewood community.
Under Sr. Zerqa Abid's supervision, Coach Siyat started the Hilltop Tigers Team last year. Thanks to Bayan Shalash for raising initial money at the Hilliard City Schools, we spent about $2000 on our first team so they could play indoor soccer in winter. This experience was wonderful. More parents came forward and asked the same for their children. Our young advocates were convinced that the soccer would be the program to engage and save their community in so many ways. That's what they communicated to the Council members.
Thanks to Councilmember Elizabeth Brown for taking this as her initiative. Thanks to Councilmember Jaiza Page, Councilmember Mitchell Brown and Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy for pitching in more money to reach the target. Thanks to President Shannon G. Hardin, President Pro Tem Michael Stinziano and Councilmember Priscilla Tyson for their support as well. This funding enables multiple new soccer teams that will engage hundreds of additional kids each week. These teams provide a structured and safe environment for all youth.
A newly formed Soccer Advisory Board will manage and operate this program. Thanks to the leadership of Mr. Russ Harris for leading this board. Mr. Naser Saadeh, Mr. Malik Moore, Mr. Kenny Steinman, Coach Siyat and Sr. Zerqa are also part of this board. We are hoping more people will join us in this very noble cause, God willing.
Columbus Alive Features Zerqa Abid in 2018 People To Watch
Congratulations to Columbus Alive's 2018 People to Watch: Zerqa Abid, Erin Upchurch, Keturah Bobo, Aslyne Rodriguez, Sara Abou Rashed, Habiba K. Bankston and the State Representative Bernadine Kent.
Sr. Zerqa has been recognized for her tireless work in the Wedgewood community and the Greater Hilltop Area. She is quoted in the article talking about her role in the Wedgewood community.
“I see myself as their advocate, as their sister, as their auntie, who is protecting their rights,” Abid said of the residents. “I very strongly feel that Wedgewood is going to be a role model community.”
Please take your time to read about all of these incredible women in Columbus that are changing the world for everyone around them in a very big way.
The School Bags wil be Distributed At The Community Festival on the Eid Day - August 21st
Imagine what a new bag and school supplies can do to a kid that does not want to go to school because of the shame of having no supplies or used ones. Sponsor these kids and buy things for them as you buy for your own children or grandchildren.
Two of our new youth leaders, Qali Ahmed and Inaya Hussain have taken lead in organizing this drive. Please sign up now to encourage them on their first community service project as well. We have hundreds of kids in need of new bags, your help can change their future forever..
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.