SoFlo Profiles of Service to Humanity
The South Florida Muslim population is vibrant, diverse, and socially engaged. We hope in this blog to bring you a number of different voices that make up the SoFlo Muslim community. Each month we will be highlighting an individual that has decided to go above and beyond themselves. The common thread of all the individuals profiled is their dedication to serving the community at large, regardless of faith. We also hope to inspire you to different pathways that one can get involved, big or small, in your own unique way.
Licensed Professional Councelor
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
(MS, LPC, LMHC)
What type of community work do you do?
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I have worked with several organizations in the past such as ICNA relief, EMGAGE USA, United Voices and many others. I have worked at Al-Azhar School and Garden of the Sahaba Academy as a School Counselor and Behavioral Interventionist. I created a Behavior Intervention Program at both schools and worked with organizing several events at both schools including Red Ribbon week activities that focus on standing up against bullying and saying no to drugs. I have provided career planning to children who were about to graduate high school and help them with planning for college. I worked at Memorial Community Youth Services as an in home counselor for children, adolescents and families. I also provided a series of stress management workshops for MWO and different Masajid.
I was the president of the MSA at my high school- Deerfield Beach High School, the president of the MSO at FAU, the Ameerah of Qabeelat Safaa the South Florida Chapter through Almaghrib Institute, a member of YCSF, and Young Muslims South Florida Chapter.
What brought you to South Florida?
I was born and raised in Florida. I have had the pleasure of living in Florida for 28 years of my life and recently moved to New Jersey after getting married.
What causes are you passionate about?
I am passionate about community service, specifically advocating for mental health in the Muslim community. I have my Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and recently opened up my own private practice called the Attitude for Gratitude, LLC. I provide Counseling for marriages, relationships, family counseling, youth and individual counseling. Mental Health unfortunately has a stigma attached to it in the Muslim Community and I am passionate about advocating for Mental Health services and to reach out and get help by a trained professional.
Can you give a piece of advice on how to get active in the community?
I always mentor the youth to get active when they are younger because it will become a habit for them and to volunteer for something they are passionate about. Once they build the habit of volunteering, networking and exploring their passions, they will be able to continue to have these qualities as they grow older into adulthood InshAllah. Begin by attending fundraisers and local community events and volunteering at those events.
Can you give us a personal story that makes South Florida so unique?
My earliest childhood memories is being surrounded by many Muslim families who were very close knit and attended the same Islamic School at the time known as SISB (School of Islamic Studies at Broward). I remember meeting a group of friends around the same age as me and we ended up becoming the best of friends to this day. Our mothers would host Halaqa groups and Quran classes for us on the weekends so that we could memorize Quran and make learning Islam fun for children. We called ourselves the “Little Mumins.” This personal memory and story is near and dear to my heart because it showed how our community over the years has expanded but we still value the importance of relationships and maintaining bonds. I find that those people whom I grew up with still have that connection from our young Islamic school days.
South Florida is a melting pot of diversity which I love. I love that I had the opportunity to meet Muslims from many cultural backgrounds, different countries and traveled to different masajid for various programs. I love how South Florida offers so many programs for the youth and is geared towards nurturing the family unit. No matter how many thousands of miles I may be away from South Florida, it will always be considered as home in my heart.