NNAAC Fellow Sundous Daghash: Program broadened my understanding of social justice
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 Sundous Daghash, one of the dynamic 2014-15 fellows, in our interview with her below.
"As a freshman in college the program broadened my understanding of social justice and the inequalities within the community."
18 years old
Orland Park, Ill.
Saint Xavier University
Q: Why did you join NNAAC’s Transformative Fellowship Program?
A: I wanted to be better informed about the nonprofit world and the ins and outs of a nonprofit organizations.
Q: With which organization are you placed and what are you learning about the organization?
A: The Arab American Action Network. I was an intern over the summer and absolutely loved the remarkable work that the AAAN was doing. The AAAN helps strengthen the Arab community in the Chicagoland area by building its capacity to be an active agent for positive social change. As a grassroots nonprofit, their strategies include community organizing, advocacy education, providing social services, leadership development, cultural outreach, and forging productive relationships with other communities.
Q: What kinds of projects are you working on?
- Afterschool Homework Help Program at Stevenson Elementary School: Homework assistance, tutoring, mentoring and structured recreation for elementary school students. We have field trips, science experiments, health and nutrition, arts and crafts.
- Book Buddy Project: students work in groups to create a book on a weekly basis.
Q: What are you learning about the Arab American community?
A: The AAAN is bringing the community together by addressing the issues and meeting and the needs of the community.
Q: How is the program making you a leader?
A: By taking on certain tasks to make particular events hosted by the AAAN a success such as the Wishah Event that we held in December. In regard to the Afterschool Homework Help Program, I lead a group of young students to help them use their critical thinking and analyzing skills to complete their homework.
Q: What are at least three skills you are gaining from the program so far?
- leadership development
- communication skills
- organizing skills
Q: How is the program affecting your future plans (i.e. school or career path)?
A: As a freshman in college the program broadened my understanding of social justice and the inequalities within the community. This made me want to pursue a higher education in the social sciences field to enhance my ability to combat these inequalities efficiently.
Q: What is your favorite part of the program so far?
A: The fact that I am growing positively through serving the community is by far the greatest feeling.
Q: Would you recommend the program to others?
A: This has been a life changing opportunity and I would definitely recommend the program to everyone. The staff at the AAAN are my role-models and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work with them all.