NNAAC Fellow Maisune: I hope to find my purpose through serving others

NNAAC’s Transformative Leaders Fellowship Program (formerly the Youth Fellowship Program) develops crucial leadership skills in select university students across the country through an ongoing partnership with our various member organizations. These aspiring young adults learn more about the issues facing Arab American communities, see how nonprofits are managed and work toward creating a personal professional growth plan.

Get to know Maisune Abu-Elhaija, one of our 2015-16 fellows, in our interview with her below.


"I hope to learn more about myself and my purpose in this world through serving others."

Maisune Abu-Elhaija

18 years old
Anaheim, California
California State University, Fullerton - 4th Year - Communications and Psychology

Q: Why did you join NNAAC’s Transformative Fellowship Program?

A: Many think that natural born leaders are ready for anything but being a natural born leader myself, I can tell you that we actually need the Transformative Fellowship Program more than anyone else!

Q: With which organization are you placed?

A: Access California Services (AccessCal)

Q: What do you hope to learn?

A: I hope to learn more about myself and my purpose in this world through serving others.

Q: What personal or professional goals do you want to achieve during this program?

A: I want to become a more patient person in my personal and professional lives; working with youth requires a high amount of that so this should work out quite nicely.

Q: How does this program fit into your future plans (i.e. school or career path)?

A: I plan to represent the many communities I am part of (i.e. Southern Californians, discouraged youth, Arab-Americans, American-Muslims, empowered women, etc.) and this fellowship will help guide me there.

Q: Describe yourself in three words (i.e. activist, leader, student, humanitarian, etc.)

A: My name translates in Arabic to the "beauty of intelligence," so yeah. :)

The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) Transformative Leaders Fellowship Program (formally the Youth Fellowship Program) increases the capacity of our human service member organizations to provide additional support to their communities, while at the same time develop crucial leadership skills in the fellows themselves. The program engages college students and/or recent graduates over a nine-month placement with a NNAAC member organization. Fellows are recruited by NNAAC members locally, and in partnership with universities. Learn more.

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