“The youth is the hope of the future.” --Jose Rizal.
If the youth are our future, we can take heart in knowing our future is in good hands with people like Zakiyyah and Sakinah Rahman. Zakiyyah and Sakinah Rahman are twin sisters who graduated from Ypsilanti High School in 2017 and were recognized as the Young Citizens of the Year by Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. They are just two of the many young people who benefit from your donations to United Way.
Zakiyyah and Sakinah were asked to speak at the United Way of Washtenaw County’s 2018 Annual Meeting, where attendees were inspired to learn about their dedication to improving the local community through volunteerism. The sisters, age 18, spoke about the advocacy work they have been doing since age 15. They emphasized the tremendous opportunities of volunteerism within our community, citing over 4000 homeless in Washtenaw county, ¼ of that being youth.
The sisters revealed that they have a deep connection with serving homeless youth, in part because the girls were counted among homeless youth until age four.
Zakiyyah and Sakinah aimed attention to Ozone House, Corner Health, Mentor to Youth, Michigan Works, and Student Advocacy Center -- all are programs that supported them in their childhood here in Washtenaw County. The women explained how Ozone House provided funding for yearbooks, graduation, prom, and other fees that would have otherwise been a hardship for the Rahman family during their senior year. They spoke about how Corner Health provided health care to them as youngsters, and they now sit on the center’s advocacy board. They explained how each of these agencies made a difference in developing them into successful young adults. Over the years these organizations helped Zakiyyah and Sakinah feel hopeful, capable, and civically active. And these local services exist to benefit youth because of donations to United Way of Washtenaw County.
Each year the money raised in the community stays in the community and is distributed through program grants. The funding provides hope to at-risk families and youth, the same youth who are going on to be recognized as Young Citizens of the Year, mentors, youth leaders, graduates, and volunteers.
United Way of Washtenaw County’s president and CEO Pam Smith gets to see those hopes put to action regularly thanks to the support of donors. “When we Live United, we come together to care for every child in our community we all benefit. The beauty of the United Way is that each donation, no matter how big or small, adds up and creates a big impact.” Shared Pam Smith, President and CEO.
As for Zakiyyah and Sakinah Rahman, they are continuing to use their passion and talents in our community. The twins measure their success by the ways they are giving back to the very organizations who have helped them out along their way. You can hear them speak and also sing about the passion they have for the community they know by watching their address at the United Way of Washtenaw County 2018 Annual Meeting here: https://youtu.be/_JR_0FAntbo
Today, the Rahman sisters attend Eastern Michigan University, and continue to think up ways to impact their community -- like soliciting local high schools to offer a community service elective to students.
United Way of Washtenaw County values your support to our local community.
To volunteer at one of these agencies, get more information here.
To make a recurring contribution to the program of your choice, please do so here.