This organization gave me hope that my community can overcome hard times.
MY Project USA's Family,
In 2017, there were 7 homicides and 17 shootings in my neighborhood, Wedgewood Village Apartments on the Westside of Columbus. Two people were murdered right in front of my building. Being a teenager and a sister of eleven siblings, I was so mortified, but Sr. Zerqa Abid and MY Project USA's team has kept me grounded and gave me hope that my community can overcome the hard times. They have taught me how to organize my community against crimes and how to uplift my neighborhood. MY Project USA has impacted my life forever!
Two years ago, I started a reading program with the help of my highschool friends. We knew the difficulties children face in our neighborhood. We wanted a safe place for the children to go after school because most of them would be locked out of their homes. Instead of being on the streets and in connection with the gang members, we made sure the Reading Warrior program would be a fun and safe place for them. We worked hard to help younger students with their homework and to increase the reading levels. It was great, but it was not enough to save all children in the neighborhood and to stop the crimes . We needed more help. We couldn't continue as volunteers forever. We had to start making some money to support our families and our education too.
That's where Sr. Zerqa stepped in. She took me and my friends under her wings. She appreciated our services, supported our Reading Program, and encouraged us to think outside the box. She empowered us with the leadership trainings and programs. She created safe spaces for us to vent our frustrations and brainstorm our ideas to do better. She would provide us with the support and resources needed to implement those ideas. She also created job opportunities for all of us. She would raise money and would pitch in from her own pocket to pay our salaries and stipends. She convinced Columbus City Council to help us through Boy Scouts Program.
Now, I work at MY Project USA as a Field Coordinator and a Program Leader to help people in my neighborhood get involved in the great initiative and to participate in everything MY Project USA provides. I worked alongside incredible young leaders and youth mentors who have encouraged me to do absolutely great things to help my community. There has been such a major impact on my community.
We have formed three youth-led committees in the neighborhood.These committees are aiming to keep youth away from drugs and gangs, help reduce the highschool drop-out rates and to improve the living situation of buildings through education and regular resident driven clean-ups. I lead the "Clean and Drug Free Building Initiative" and it is a learning and an empowering experience.
Last but not least, MY Project USA has brought Columbus City Councilmembers, Columbus Police Division and many other influential people directly in touch with us the residents of Wedgewood. We got the direct support and guidance of Councilman Michael Stinziano, Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown, Commander Scott Hyland and many others because of MY Project USA. They have all impacted my life. Our lives.
I am so grateful to be a part of such an outstanding team and even more happy that I will continue to give back with MY Project USA. We will continue to encourage and motivate more children in my neighborhood. We are very hopeful of what the future has in store for us because we know Wedgewood will become something great very soon with God and MY Project USA by it's side. I want to thank all of you for your support and for caring enough to invest in the Wedgewood youth and families.
Zerqa Abid: "Am I My Brother's Keeper," Speech At MLK Dayton 2018 Banquet
What It Means To Be a "Brother's Keeper" As A Muslim American
Listen to this powerful speech by MY Project USA’s Founder and Executive Director Zerqa Abid at the MLK Dayton Banquet 2018. Several elected officials including US Senator Rob Portman, Mayor Nan Whaley of the City of Dayton, Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, State Representative Jeffery Rezabek and Ohio Congressman Michael Turner were in attendance.
Zerqa Abid: "Am I MY Brother's Keeper"
Fundraising & Development:
MY Project USA's Annual A Benefit Dinner 2018
To Protect & Empower Columbus Youth & Families Save $150/Table Now. Early Bird Sale Ends on January 31st
Please Join Us for an Inspirational Evening with the honorable Representative Adam Miller, Councilmember Michael Stinziano, Councilmemebr Elizabeth Brown, Interfaith and Community Leaders and our Youth Leaders as we gather to Support Columbus Youth and Families.
BOOK YOUR SEATS NOW AND SAVE A LOT
EARLY BIRD SALE- Sale Ends on January 31st Main Event $65/Seat - Save $10/Seat
Book A Table Now - Save $150
Table of 10: $600/Table
This Event Has Been Rescheduled To April 21st, 2018
Few Seats Still Available At Early Bird Price - Book Your Seats Now
Due to a recent death in Mayor Nan Whaley's family and other unforeseen events, she has requested us to reschedule this event. Our new date for this dinner is April 21st. If you bought a ticket, we can apply it to the new date or we can refund it to you per request. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we hope that you would still join us on April 21st. Please keep our beloved mayor in your prayers at this difficult time. May God have His mercy and blessings on her and her loved ones. Ameen.
This event is for the entire Community. Its purpose is to kick off the efforts to address hunger, poverty, domestic violence, drugs, gangs, unemployment and many other social issues within Dayton Muslim and non-Muslim Community both. This initiative is being launched per the request of Mayor Whaley and it’s in collaboration with all major Dayton Muslim organizations. This work would be done under MY Project USA Dayton Chapter.