NNAAC Fellow Sophia: I'm learning something new every day
NNAAC’s Transformative 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 Sophia Laila Agag, one of the bright 2014-15 fellows, in our interview with her below.
"My program is making me more of a responsible person and helps me to take more control that will prepare me for the professional world."
Sophia Laila Agag
19 years old
Queens, New York
LaGuardia Community College
Q: Why did you join NNAAC’s Transformative Fellowship Program?
A: I joined the NNAAC Fellowship because I believe that this program really helped me to find myself and what I want to pursue in my future.
Q: With which organization are you placed and what are you learning about the organization?
A: I was placed in the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY) and I am learning something new every single day. Such as, managing skills, public speaking, I am learning a lot of the case working and filling applications. Also, my Arabic has improved!
Q: What kinds of projects are you working on?
A: Right now I am reopening an after school program known Kitaab Club at the AAANY, this is a smaller group of ELL students who needs extra attention and assistance on homework.
Q: What are you learning about the Arab American community?
A: Every client I meet, I get to hear about their background information and their life stories, it really gives me connections of how Arab Americans live their lives in NYC.
Q: How is the program making you a leader? What are at least three skills you are gaining from the program so far?
A: My program is making me more of a responsible person and helps me to take more control that will prepare me for the professional world. I am still building my pubic speaking skills since I am really shy, I am afraid to make mistakes but that’s the only way I can really learn and realize. My organization has much improved then before; I am on time to most of my events and appointments I must attend. Finally, my leadership skills to be able to take control when others aren’t around.
Q: How is the program affecting your future plans (i.e. school or career path)?
A: My dream is one day is to represent all Arab Americans, especially from a mixed background like me. I am proud to be from an Italian-Algerian decent; it really made me open minded and show love to everyone.
Q: What is your favorite part of the program so far?
A: Just being in the NNAAC program was an enormous change and affect in my entire life. It really brought out the person inside of me. It makes me love the Arab American community more every day.
Q: Would you recommend the program to others?
A: The NNAAC [Transformative Fellowship Program] was the greatest decision I have made in my life.