AAI Intern Alum Nicole Khamis Awarded Fulbright

Posted by Meredith Pahowka on April 17, 2017 in Blog


Former AAI intern Nicole Khamis was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright award to work with refugees in Jordan. The Fulbright award is a part of Nicole’s long list of accomplishments. The senior at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor was also recently recognized by the Michigan Daily as a Student of the Year for her work as the founder of the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program. 

Before founding her own NGO, Nicole was an intern in the Communications department at AAI during the summer of 2015. That position allowed Nicole to connect with other Arab American professionals who are passionate about achieving institutional change through politics. Her favorite memories include visiting the Capitol for the first time and sitting in on hearings. These experiences have inspired her to work for a more representative government and create change in her own community. 

Nicole also noted that her time at AAI instilled in her the passion to work to solve disparities with creative and innovate solutions. Nicole did just that when she created the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program. MRAP assists recently resettled refugees in the Ann Arbor area. Through the program, Nicole has connected passionate UM students with the chance to do something to help refugees in their own community. 

Nicole is looking forward to building on her work at home as she heads to Jordan next year. Nicole commented, “I am so excited to begin my journey with Fulbright in Jordan, and I hope it will help me understand more about disparities that exist within refugee and immigrant communities, as I hope to continue my education at Stanford studying refugee and asylum law. I believe this incredible opportunity will help me to learn about and empathize with those who are different than me.” 

Nicole is one of the many remarkable young leaders who have participated in the AAI internship program and have gone on to enact real change in their communities and abroad. AAI Executive Director Maya Berry said, “Over the years, the AAI internship program has developed outstanding young leaders with extraordinary talent. Our interns go on to become impactful changemakers, making programs like ours so important to the Arab American community”.


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