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Looking Back | A Fellows’ Reflections

Reflection by: Helwa Saleh


“I went from a naive girl to an independent and strong woman. Going into this fellowship I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited. I had a lot of ups and downs, but it was the most impactful nine months of my life. It was hard to navigate around, trying to find out all of the services AAFS had, but once I was on the floor I became shocked at all that we offered. I learned valuable leadership, outreach, and organizing skills. With those skills, I was able to create a new and expanding young adults program that I envision developing our future leaders. Every month, a group of college students now come together and talk about topics they would never have imagined they would. I believe in opening up taboo and unspoken of conversations because that is when the conversations start to leave the group and turn into a web of conversations in our community. The more conversations take place, the stronger my generation will become, and they will realize that AAFS is a safe space. As a fellow, I appreciated every staff and member from Arab American Family Services and National Network for Arab American Communities. Being involved directly in my community opened up my eyes to a lot of potential ideas and jobs.”

During Helwa’s fellowship, she was given the opportunity to represent Arab American Family Services (AAFS) in Washington, D.C., for Arab American Advocacy Week, through  National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)‘s Fellowship Program.  She described her trip to D.C. as being ” the most influential and inspirational days I have ever been honored to be part of! If I learned anything these past three days, it’s that every voice DOES COUNT”


One of the projects that Saleh was able to organize during her fellowship at AAFS is the Dine & Dash event. Catered for young adults, Dine & Dash encourages the exchange of dialogues when it comes to taboo or unspoken of topics.

Our next Dine & Dash event is coming up on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at 7pm. Email nzein@aafsil.org to reserve your seat!

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