NNAAC Fellow Sheen Atwa: I want to give others the chances I was given

NNAAC’s Transformative Leaders Fellowship Program develops crucial leadership skills in select university students and recent graduates 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 Sheen Mohamed Atwa, one of our 2016-17 fellows, in our interview with him below.


Sheen Mohamed Atwa

Alif Institute | Atlanta, Ga. 
Georgia State University Perimeter College - Recent Graduate,  Political Science and Languages


Q: Why did you join the Transformative Leaders Fellowship program? 

A: As the position says, to transform into one the future Arab American leaders in the United States. This fellowship will allow me the chance to coordinate and network, not only benefitting my local Arab and non-Arab communities, but also to provide support to others throughout America. 

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

A: I really hope to achieve a lost connection with my Arab roots. Being born and raised in the U.S. definitely hindered my own cultural understanding of what it means to be Arab, especially in America. It is a feeling for which I plan this fellowship will be a catalyst. 

Q: How does this program fit into your future plans? 

A: This fellowship will allot me skills needed to become a delegate in the international community, especially concerning the Middle East’s at-risk populations. With much of the world’s turmoil creating havoc in the Arab world, it is not only pertinent that I, as an Arab American, be at the forefront in service for this area, but it is a necessity.  My desire to represent Arab Americans in helping humanitarian crises further into my career will undoubtedly be supported by what I gain from the NNAAC Transformative Leaders Fellowship. 

Q: Describe yourself in three words. 

A: Human, Listener, Friend


The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) Transformative Leaders Fellowship Program (formerly the Youth Fellowship Program) increases the capacity of our member organizations to provide additional support to their communities, while at the same time develops 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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