Posted on October 25, 2010 in Arab American Institute

Below is a list of AAIF Youth Leadership Award winners from previous years. Helen Abbott Award recipients are listed first, followed by past recipients of the Raymond Jallow Award. To apply to the Helen Abbott Award or see other youth leadership opportunities, click here. To view scholarships available to Arab Americans or Arab students please click here.

Helen Abbott Community Service Award Recipients


2014 Awards Recipients

Maisune Elhaija

 Maisune graduated high school with a year and a half of college completed by attending John F. Kennedy Middle College High School, a program that accepts mature, motivated, focused students to attend college and high school simultaneously. While most high school graduates start college at the freshman level, she will be transferring in the spring to a four-year university as a junior. She will be studying Communication and Business Administration. Maisune also plans to obtain a Master’s degree and Ph.D., making her the first woman in her family to seek higher education.

Judy Mualem

Judy is an upcoming junior at John Carroll University, double majoring in Economics and Biochemistry. She previously attended Cuyahoga Community College as a post-secondary student. Judy loves to keep herself busy after classes by getting involved both on and off campus. She is the president of the Economics Association Club on her campus, which she hopes will bring awareness and provide off campus resources for members. She is also a representative for the Bolar School of Business, where all business club presidents come together to make decisions and plan student activities and events. Involving herself with Bolar for the past year has given Judy a chance to plan events like the Bolar Community Day, BolarSpring Social, and Bolar Award Night.

Judy is involved in the Middle Eastern Student Association. The club gives her a chance to enrich and increase cultural awareness on campus. She is also in Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity. The fraternity was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about business and leadership, as well as being able to bond with her brothers by volunteering, attending guest speaker presentations and social events. This past spring, Judy received the Bombelles International Economics Award from her university.


2013 Awards Recipients

Rita Ainane

 Rita is graduating from the American School of Dubai and heading to MIT this fall to study mechanical engineering, making her the first woman from her family to follow an educational path in a field of science. Last summer she interned at NASA, working in the  Goddard Propulsion Branch as one of just 25 students across the country who was selected to be part of the National Space Club Scholar’s Program.

Ahmed Eissa

Ahmed is a rising sophomore studying Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Maryland, and part of the 2016 Cohort for the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, a four-year undergraduate scholarship program that helps prepare students for careers in public service. Ahmed devotes much of his time to tutoring refugees in an afterschool English language program with the Refugee Youth Project (RYP) as well as volunteering as an assistant basketball coach with Howard County Youth Programs. He also writes weekly posts for USDemocrazy, a current events blog edited by Kevin Kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for . Ahmed is part of the Student Government Association at UMBC and is the Philanthropy/Service Coordinating Officer for the Arab Student Union there.

Nadia Aljabi

Nadia has been helping communities at both a local and international level, and she is headed to Purdue University this fall to study civil engineering. She hopes to work with the nonprofit group Engineers Without Borders to directly help communities around the world with basic infrastructure and needs. Nadia's community service is not just international; she has done extensive local work as well. After volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in 2011 at a “Peace Build” to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Nadia said that experiencing people of different faiths and backgrounds joining together to build a home for a local family was such a powerful experience. She “found deep satisfaction in having a hand in giving someone in my community a warm, safe, beautiful home.” And ever since then she’s been a regular Habitat for Humanity volunteer, even founding a campus chapter and taking on the role of receptionist at the local affiliate. Nadia also volunteers as a math and Spanish tutor, as well as a “Skills for Life” Program Facilitator.

2012 Awards Recipients

Tess Waggoner

 Tess is a rising senior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she is a Religious Studies and Asian Studies joint major, with a concentration in Islamic Civilization and Cultures and a minor in Philosophy. At Kenyon, she serves as president of the Middle East Student Association and the Kenyon College Chasers a cappella group. She also serves as a contributor and editor for The Kenyon Observer, the College’s oldest political and cultural magazine. Ms. Waggoner works as a campus tour guide and mentors incoming students as an Upper Class Counselor. She is also currently serving as a campus intern for the Yalla Change campaign. The proud granddaughter of the late Maryse and Ramzy Mikhail, she also serves on the speaker selection committee for their Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Toledo, which sponsors an annual lecture pertaining to Middle East culture and politics. This summer, Ms. Waggoner will be interning through AAI at the Unite Lebanon Youth Project in Beirut, Lebanon.

Abeer Hassan

 Abeer was born in the small agricultural town of Hagab, Yemen.  She later moved to the United States with her family, and attended high school in Delano, California. Ms. Hassan organized several activities for students of the California English Language Development Test to encourage them to overcome language barriers and learn about the diverse student body of Cesar E. Chavez High School. She volunteered her time at the skilled nursing facility in Delano, and later earned an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and Medical Sciences from Bakersfield College. While at Bakersfield College, she started the Delano Multicultural Club, and was awarded the Outstanding Student Leadership and Service Award for her efforts at the 2010 Bakersfield College Delano Awards Ceremony. Ms. Hassan is now a rising senior at California State University, Bakersfield majoring in Biology, and plans to pursue medicine to become a physician’s assistant.

India Williams 

 India recently graduated from Denver East High School and plans on attending the University of Northern Colorado in the fall. Throughout her high school career she was involved in various clubs and activities including the high school volleyball team, the varsity football team (she was a team manager), Key Club, Angels Against Abuse, Link Leader Crew, and Black Student Alliance. Outside of school, Ms. Williams volunteered with organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Judy’s House, Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital, and Rose Community Foundation. Her most significant volunteer experience was at the Medical Career Collaborative through Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she participated in a 6-week internship with the hospitalist department. She also attended a National Student Leadership Conference for medicine at University of California Berkeley in San Francisco, California.

2009 Awards Recipients

Alaa Itani

Alaa Itani is a senior at Portage Central High School and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center. Throughout high school, community service has played an integral role in her education. Whether through the National Honor Society or at the Portage Community Center, volunteering has allowed her to serve the community and learn about its people. Alaa also enjoyed being part of various environmental efforts, both locally through her school’s environmental club, and nationally with the Keystone Youth Energy Board.

She says that her mindset is, of course, greatly influenced by her parents, who moved to the United States from the Middle East in hopes of pursuing a better education. “As a result,” she explains, “they have always emphasized the importance of not only a solid academic foundation, but also serving others.”

Sarah Jaward

Sarah Jaward is currently a junior, Pre-law, at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sarah is an activist, promoting civic engagement at the grassroots level, and she volunteers in humanitarian efforts, as well.

She worked on numerous campaigns, lobbying for candidates who promote Arab American issues, and was elected a Precinct Delegate for the state of Michigan. In addition, she interned at the Arab American Institute’s Midwest Regional Office during the 2008 elections, rallying Arab Americans to get out and vote.

Sarah has also volunteered for various causes, including the Arab Student Union Toy Drive for the Children’s Hospital, Rouge River Clean Up Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Gleaners Food Bank.

Banafsheh Sharif-Askary

Banafsheh Sharif-Askary, more familiarly known as “Bean”, lives in the beach-front town of Melbourne, Florida. She serves as her high school’s Senior Class President and is also the yearbook editor-in-chief. Banafsheh loves working on the yearbook because it gives her an opportunity to delve into photography, design, and writing, all things she thoroughly enjoys.

In Fall of 2009, she plans to attend Duke University in North Carolina—pre-med, with an eye towards becoming a plastic surgeon. Her ultimate goal, she says, is to become a physician in Doctors Without Borders, the international humanitarian organization committed to providing medical aid in countries with insubstantial health care.

Joseph Wahhab

Joseph Wahhab is the first in his family to graduate high school and attend college. This young leader helped found the Middle Eastern Club at his high school, where he serves as Junior Class Secretary.

The Honor Roll student finds time to work as a shift manager at Dairy Queen; he organized and ran a charity event that benefited terminally ill children of his community with the support of his employer. This event, established as an annual charity fund at his local Dairy Queen in 2006, donates to Children’s Hospital to help leukemia patients.

Joseph’s interest in the medical field inspired him to pioneer a medical mentorship program through his school. He strives to one day travel the world as a general physician and help the poor and sick as a part of a non-profit organization like Doctors Without Borders. The fact that he already speaks three languages will stand him in good stead.


2008 Awards Recipients


James Anaissie

James Anaissie is a senior at Little Rock Central High School. He will be attending Duke University next year as a student in its biomedical engineering program. He spends his summers as a counselor at a summer camp for children with all types of disabilities, including chronic and terminal illness. Additionally, he is a soccer coach for disabled students and volunteers in the kitchen of a homeless shelter.

Sonja Darwish

Sonja Darwish is a senior at Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, CA. She turned a community service requirement for her school into an opportunity to reach out to a rural village in Egypt with insufficient medical care. She requested medication donations from a local hospital in Sacramento, and then distributed the medication in the village. Sonja worked to raise awareness about the causes and preventative measures of trachoma in the village. She has continued her “Healthy Eyes Project” for three years, bringing over 1,000 ointment tubes to the villagers.

Mena Hanna

Mena Hanna is a senior at Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, NY. He will be attending Albany College of pharmacy next year. His goal is to conduct medical research to help underprivileged families who cannot find doctors, afford medicine, or find the right type of treatment. He volunteers with a program at his church which invites homeless individuals to have meals and share stories and talents. This experience has taught him that all types of individuals just need someone to care for them.

Deanna Madanat

Deanna Madanat is a senior at San Francisco State University studying Special Education and Psychology. She is dedicated to working with children and families with disabilities, not only in the United States but also in the Arab world. She will spend the year after graduation studying Arabic in Jordan and Lebanon before going back to school to get her masters in Special Education. Deanna has worked at Support for Families and Children with disabilities as both a caregiver and as a volunteer assistant for Special Family Events. She plans on continuing this work as a professional in both the US and the Middle East.


2007 Awards Recipients


Rohima Ahmad

Rohima Ahmad and her family visit Egypt each year and spend time in the hospitals of the less developed areas of the country. These visits have led her to pursue a life in the medical world. During her high school years, Rohima volunteered at the Arab American Association helping recent immigrants adjust to their new homes. She hopes to remain in New York to give back to the community by working in clinics and hospitals throughout underrepresented areas.

Dania Ayoubi

Dania Ayoubi graduated from Georgetown University Magna Cum Laude in May 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Arabic Language, Literature and Linguistics. She also received a Certificate in Islam and Muslim-Christian Understanding. Dania spent much time as an undergraduate contributing to various Muslim organizations in the region and on campus, and tutoring elementary and high schools students. She will attend Georgetown Law Center in the fall of 2007.

Ramy Zayed

Ramy Zayed’s early passion for science pushed him to pursue a career in medicine. His dedication to both academics and community service are evident in his impact on his community. During his high school years Ramy developed and coached a youth basketball team. He was a member of the Boys and Girls Club and volunteers regularly for the Muslim Community Center. Ramy is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in bioengineering at Wichita State University.


2006 Awards Recipients


Kristen Moussalli

Kristen Moussalli from Northeastern University received a $1,000 individual award. Kristin helped raise over $7,000 for breast cancer research and organized a drive to benefit pediatric aids. Kristin also participated in Jumpstart, a program of AmeriCorps, where she tutored children in reading and literarcy and worked to create a curriculum for them. Through studying political science, she hopes to affect policy and promote understanding.

Margaux Faris-Merkert

Margaux Faris-Merkert worked with Women for Women International to raise awarenss about and collect support funds for an Afghan teenager named Nadia and her family. Margaux has raised close to $5,000 for the project allowing Nadia to attend the university in Kabul. Working with Nadia has encouraged Marguax to study International Relations in college. She hopes to stregthen her knowledge and understanding about cultures that are different from her own. She received a $500 individual award.

Amira Mouna

Amira Mouna, a graduating senior from Greenbrier High School in Georgia, received a $500 individual award. She is being awarded for the hours she has dedicated in volunteering for the Red Cross Youth Board, YMCA Camp, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, and Gracewood Hospital. In addition to her volunteerism, she has demostrated strong academic achievements with a 4.0 GPA.

Nadine Kaskas

Nadine Kaskas also received a $500 award. She volunteered for the American Cancer Society, the VA Hospital in Pharmacy and Human Resources, served as chairman of the Youth Relay for Life Committee, and helped organize care packets for Hurricane Katrina victims. She plans to attend medical school and continue her dedication to service.


2005 Awards Recipients


Tanya A. Haj-Hassan

Through health policy and public service Tanya has devoted her academic life to studying ways by which she could alleviate the suffering of misplaced persons in the Middle East. Tanya hopes to one day become an international leader and to provide emergency aid, healthcare, education and other services to the underprivileged. Tanya has proven to embody the aspirations of Helen Abbott, making her an ideal candidate for this award. Tanya A. Haj-Hassan is currently majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in International Health and Development and Middle Eastern Studies at Stanford University. Her record of public service both within the United States and abroad includes working as an intern at the Arab Medical Center in Amman, Jordan, as the National Director of the AIDS Treatment Access Initiative, and as a volunteer at Camps in Tanzania, Stanford Hospital, and Amman.

Altaf Saadi

Altaf is an ideal candidate for the Helen Abbott award because she has dedicated her life to the service of others. In her own words Altaf says, “I don’t know what to be if not a community activist, and I don’t know what to work for if not the things that I passionately believe in.” Altaf Saadi is a pre-med student at Yale University. Her work experiences include being a Research Assistant for the Middle East Studies Council. She is an accomplished writer and has been published in various Yale University Journals. She currently serves as the Managing Editor of The Yale Journal of Human Rights and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Northwood Howler in high school. Altaf has received a number of academic and leadership awards and is also an accomplished volunteer. She has volunteered both in the U.S. and abroad for ESL programs for recent immigrants, Habitat for Humanity, and a other non-profit organizations.

Vanessa Saba

Vanessa’s commitment and determination to positively impacting her community is evident through her multitude of academic, service and personal accomplishments. Her desire to seek a career in graphic design and to motivate people by promoting public awareness of responsible consumption and decision-making sets her apart from her peers. It is that desire to contribute to her community, manifested through various remarkable ways, that makes her an excellent recipient of this award. Vanessa Saba is ranked first in her class at Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School. She is a gifted both academically and artistically, a fact that is reflected through her various awards and accomplishments. She is the founder and director of Old School Café, a drug and alcohol-free youth center, and “Meeting of the Minds,”a volunteer, after-school homework helper program that offers free academic assistance to fellow students. Vanessa is also a member of the New York State Youth Leadership and Service Council, a governor-appointed council that strives for statewide communication, leadership and action planning.


2004 Awards Recipients


Rana Fakih

Rana was an excellent example of the ideals of Helen Abbott for her willingness to sacrifice valuable time and energy to the education and care of children. Rana Fakih, a mother of two, demonstrated that one should continue to have an open mind and have a constant drive to learn throughout one’s life. Rana identified herself, firstly, as a mother, a role that she described as the most important and influential jobs one can have. She devoted herself to her children by taking parenting classes specifically for mothers and by seeking a professional degree that could help her to learn about child development and cognitive processes- she was enrolled at the University of Michigan working toward a B.S. in Psychology. Rana devoted herself not only to her children but also to others through her work as an Arabic private tutor and Americorp volunteer. She also worked at The Ajyal School in Beirut, Lebanon as a theater instructor. In the United States, Rana became certified as an American Cross First Aid, Parenting Trainer, day care assistant and first aid responder.

Michel Riyád Nabti

Michel Riyád devoted his educational life to the study of organization/human relations and to a strong desire to contribute to his local community by way of healthcare, cultural understanding, and organizational development. His passion to promote and improve cultural relations by way of education, travel and personal contribution proved that he was a reflection of Helen Abbott’s life and philosophy. Michel Riyád received his BA in Political Science from The University of California- Santa Barbara. Michel was awarded a Research Assistantship to study organizational behavior at the Graduate School of business at Stanford University. Michel boated membership to various professional associations, including the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Khalid Abdul Raheem

Khalid’s desire to become a medical doctor and to embark upon a lifelong journey of service to the world’s sick and poor is what set him apart from other youth leaders. Not only did he aspire to help people by becoming a doctor, he also demonstrated an ambitious hope to improve the medical field by researching diseases and ways by which they can be one day be cured. Khalid’s impressive resume could only be matched by his insatiable desire to improve the quality of worldwide healthcare. This desire to help all societies through such a significant contribution of time and research made him a perfect embodiment of Helen Abbott’s own goals. Khalid Abdul Raheem received education all over the world, including Marquette University High School, St. Jude Apostle School, and the American School of Kuwait. He has served in various capacities as a student leader and mentor.


2003 Awards Recipients


Amal Harb

Founder and Director for, Amal has played a major role in developing national organization resources for the Arab American community. Her educational experiences along with her extra-curricular activities clearly cast her as a well-rounded and excelling recipient of the Helen Abbott Award. Amal has served as a board member for the Organization of Middle Eastern Women, the Organization of Arab Students, and the Palestinian Student Association at the University at Buffalo, NY. Amal has proven to be a major asset for these organizations. She recognizes the need for cohesiveness in the Arab American community through making resources and services available, and she is determined to make a contribution.


2002 Awards Recipients


Rima Abdelkader

Rima Abdelkader established herself as a qualified recipient of this award through her lifetime commitment to the service of others. She, like Helen Abbott, looked at the less fortunate in her community and saw a way by which she could contribute to, instead of a critique, society. Rima, an advocate of diligence and respectfulness, claimed that her inspiration derived from the ideal that no good results from inactivity. Perhaps the most notable of her achievements was her service as the key speaker for the Interact Club, an international organization of service and social clubs for youth. She dedicated well over one hundred hours to volunteering during her high school career. Rima has received awards for her demonstrated excellence in various academic fields.

The Network of Arab American Alumni and Professionals (NAAP)

The NAAP’s contributions to society demonstrated that the organization was a worthy recipient of the Helen Abbott Community Service Award in that the organization promoted cooperation, understanding, morality, opportunity and democracy. The Network of Arab American Alumni and Professionals was founded through an effort to support the Arab Student Associations (ASA) and to establish a channel by which alumni and professionals could increase their activism and strengthen their voice as a unified entity. The NAAP served the community by promoting student activism, providing professional networking opportunities, coordinating political action on national and local levels, promoting Arab heritage through cultural events, and engaging in community outreach to educate the American public about contemporary Arab/ Arab- American issues and culture. The NAAP manifested its goals through various means, including: by increasing the visibility of Arab-American voters on the national and state levels, by increasing lobbying efforts in Washington DC on a professional level, by opening an Arabic school in the area that promoted education of the Arabic language and offered Arabic music classes to children, by providing members with interaction opportunities through the networking involved in retreats and social gatherings, and by funding the travel expenses of NAAP members who volunteer on political campaigns of Arab American candidates.

Laura Wallman

Laura Wallman’s goals and ideals were a clear reflection of the morality and integrity of the mission of The Helen Abbott Community Service Award. Like Helen Abbott, Laura hoped to improve the lives of others through her own diligence and sacrifice. She aspired to one day have a career devoted to working towards social justice. Through her work at Juvenile Hall and as a tutor, Laura demonstrated her ability to contribute to and improve her own community. Laura Wallman, a Community and Legal Studies double major at the University of California Santa Cruz, applied for the Helen Abbott Community Service Award so she could travel to Beirut, Lebanon in order to work for a non-profit organization involving youth, human rights and conflict resolution. Laura was an involved volunteer in her local community and demonstrated proficiency in both Arabic and French. Her desire to have a positive impact on society at an international scale proved that she was an exceptional candidate to receive this award.


2001 Awards Recipients


Thomas Jacobs

Thomas applied for the Helen Abbott grant in order to continue his selfless record of contributing to his community. Thomas was particularly interested in helping inspire local children from lower socio-economic classes, and emphasizing the horrific impact of racism and hatred to them. Thomas revealed in his application that he even took a year off before beginning college in order to serve his community through his participation in Americorps. He applied for the award with an impressively diverse selection of talents, interests, and qualifications. He was officially certified by the American Red Cross in five areas of Disaster Relief and served as a leader on the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. Additionally, Thomas studied in Madrid, Spain at the American School of Madrid and spoke fluent Spanish. While his academic success was quite remarkable, it was his dedication to and concern for the well being of his community that made Thomas Jacobs a deserving recipient of the Helen Abbott Community Service Award.

Jennifer Ibrahim

Jennifer Ibrahim’s dedication to underprivileged children and to the child victims of conflict in Lebanon and Palestine proved that her ideals and priorities seemed to embody the mission of Helen Abbott. In her application, Jennifer demonstrated that she understood from personal experience, having lived in Beirut for five years, what atrocities can result from religious, governmental and cultural conflicts in the area. Compelled to act by what she experienced, Jennifer worked with children in a refugee camp with The American Community School at Beirut for four years. She participated in an environmental cleanup of the shoreline, served as an English as a Second Language teacher for disabled children, participated in and organized guest speakers for the First Israeli State Terrorism (FIST) interest group and was a Mentor for Palestinian Refugee Children at the “Beit Atfal Assamoud”. Jennifer Ibrahim received an International Studies degree from Marymount Manhattan College and an International Baccalaureate Diploma from the American Community School at Beirut, Lebanon.

The Arab Student Association of The George Washington University

The Arab Student Association of the George Washington University was also a qualified recipient of the Helen Abbott Community Service Award because it was working to better the lives of both Arab and non-Arab students at George Washington by increasing an awareness of the Arab culture on campus. By promoting an educational approach to the dangers of all racism and discrimination, the Arab Student Association of George Washington qualified itself as a vital contributor to the greater cause of higher learning and global cooperation. For example, the primary goals of the Arab Student Association of The George Washington University were to promote education and awareness of crucial issues concerning the Arab-American, Middle Eastern and North African Arab communities. Their main focus, however, was quite appropriately, the promotion of Arab and Arab-American awareness on George Washington’s campus. The organization also wanted to promote relations and cooperation between Arab student associations on a national level. Some of the many ways in which the organization manifested its goals were by: providing quality speakers to the George Washington University concerning interesting issues that were relevant to the Arab American community, and by participating in and organizing rallies and enhancing ways by which the University promoted political and social education. Additionally, the Arab Student Association of George Washington wanted to educate others about Arabic culture by sharing it with the community through music, food, dance and art.



Raymond Jallow Award for Public Service Recipients


2009 Award Recipient

Hammad Hammad

Hammad Hammad, a Palestinian-American immigrant from Livermore, California, is a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands, comparing European and American approaches to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Hammad graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2008. At Georgetown, he served as the President of Students for Justice in Palestine and was the co-founder of Harakat, an annual Arab cultural showcase. He also wrote for the campus newspaper The Hoya, produced a documentary film about immigrant youth, and served as a Resident Advisor. Internships include placements on Capitol Hill, with the American-Arab anti-Discrimination Committee, and Brookings Institute Saban Center for Middle East Studies.

After graduation, Hammad co-founded an NGO called Inspire Dreams, and created “Camp I Have a Dream”, a summer camp for refugee youth in the Dheisheh, Jalazon, and al-Azzeh refugee camps in the West Bank.

In the fall of 2009 he will begin graduate school at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy as a Rangel Fellow and will begin a career in the U.S. Foreign Service in 2011.


2008 Award Recipient

Darlene Corey

Darlene Corey is an attorney who works for the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County as an Assistant General Counsel and Trial Court Staff Attorney. She also served the court as a Domestic Violence Court Case Manager. Darlene has served on public service committees of the Dade County Bar Association; she was a Female e-mentor of the Year Awardee for her service as a mentor to a local high school student; and she is a cofounder of the Middle Eastern American Professionals Association (MEAPA) where she continues to promote community service and involvement.

2007 Award Recipient

Louisa Jihan Yanes

Louisa Jihan Yanes is entering Vermont Law School in the fall of 2007 where she will be focusing on environmental law. She is also hoping to obtain a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale at the same time. Upon graduating, Louisa hopes to promote environmental justice and sustainable solutions in both developing countries and the U.S. She is currently an intern at The Wilds, a major conservation research center in southeast Ohio.


2006 Awards Recipients

Cherine Foty

Cherine Foty from the University of Michigan is a student of Political Science, Anthropology and Spanish. Cherine hopes to attend Law school when she graduates and complete a joint law degree and PhD in Public Health. She works at the Center for Political Studies at the University.


2005 Awards Recipients

Sarah Ihmoud

Sarah Ihmoud’s dedication to the Arab-American and Hispanic American communities is evident through her countless achievements, recognitions and positions held within various public service organizations. Her enthusiasm for societal unification and racial tolerance proves that her future contributions to society will be meaningful and relevant. Sarah’s principles of hard work through public service and the importance of transcending racial prejudices seem to be an embodiment of Jallow’s own principles. Sarah is currently studying for her B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville New York. Her academic success is exceptional and covers various awards. She has served as a volunteer on various community service trips to the U.S./Mexico Border, as a participant of the Community Service and Social Justice Trip to Nicaragua.


2004 Awards Recipients 

Moose Scheib

Moose Scheib grew up in Beirut, Lebanon during the height of the nation’s civil war and immigrated to the U.S. as a child, an experience that he cited as having had a profound effect on his professional, academic and personal experiences. He hoped to use his education and career to contribute to and spread awareness of the Arab-American community in the United States. Moose planned to use his law degree to combat injustices and misconceptions, both locally and abroad. Moose’s determination to serve others by protecting their lawful rights made him a clear reflection of the teachings and achievements of Raymond Jallow. Moose received his B.A. in economics and management from Albion College in Albion, MI, where he graduated cum laude. He then attended Columbia Law School in New York, New York. Moose has also served as an intern for Justice Michael J. Obus on the Supreme Court of the State of New York.


2002 Awards Recipients

Jennifer Behnam

Jennifer Behnam dedicated countless hours to her passion for public service. She served as a volunteer for the Foster Care Review Board in Jacksonville, Florida where she studied cases surrounding abused children in the foster care system. She also mentored children on a weekly basis for the BIGS in School Program and planned and organized events and funding for the Big K.I.D.S. Club. Jennifer demonstrated her belief that it was important to improve society by nurturing its children, and her personal contribution to her community’s children reflected that ideal. Her commitment to public service, especially children, echoed the lifetime service of Raymond Jallow. Jennifer received her BA in Psychology from the University of North Florida where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She also attended the School of Social Work at Florida State University. Jennifer has also worked as an investigative intern at the Public Defender’s Office, as a Mental Health Associate at the Behavioral Health Center and as a Case Manager for the I.M. Schulzbacher Center for the Homeless.

Charles Edward Kiamie, III

Charles Edward Kiamie III hoped to neutralize tensions between the Middle East and the United States and demonstrated his ability to contribute to that desire through his education and volunteer efforts, and personal publications. Charles’ dedication to the enrichment of society through political understanding, honest governmental policy and public service demonstrated that he was a qualified recipient of the Raymond Jallow award for public service. Charles received his B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, M.A. in Arab Studies with a concentration in politics, and a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He conducted extensive research during his education process. Examples of his research include working as an intern in the Public Relations and Information Departments of the Embassy of Lebanon and as an honors intern for the Federal Trade Commission of the Bureau of Competition. Charles boasted fluency in Arabic and worked both for the Arab American Institute and the Arab American Institute Foundation. Charles had also been published in Columbia’s newspaper and wrote, Personal Philosophy as Public Policy: Charles Malik’s Ideology and the 1958 Crisis in Lebanon.

2001 Awards Recipients

Angela Farida Migally

Angela’s commitment to the improvement of society through her public service work in America and the Middle East immediately set her apart from other leaders. Her work experience and career goals clearly reflected her firm commitment to public service. Angela received her BA in Politics and Economics from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. She worked as a marketing director for a structure and develop affiliate program for Majisa Inc., and as an author of executive summaries for the Social Planning Analysis and Administrative Consulting in Cairo, Egypt. Angela also interned at the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and as a Press Relations intern at the Arab American institute. Furthermore, she worked in the equal housing department of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.




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