Emerging Leaders Scholarship
MALA runs a range of programs to strengthen next-generation community leadership at the national and local level
MALA’s Emerging Leaders scholarship program was founded in 2017 with a simple mission: to help a new generation of young leaders access higher education and build community. In the years since, MALA has proudly awarded dozens of scholarships totaling over $10,000 to emerging leaders from a wide spectrum of cultural, spiritual, and geographic backgrounds.
In 2022, MALA’s leadership was proud to revitalize this important program, offering scholarships to emerging leaders with a story to tell.
The Nooria Rahat Scholarship awards $500 to an applicant passionate about and dedicated to education, opening doors within their community for people to learn together. This scholarship honors the legacy of Nooria Rahat, a lifelong educator in the Afghan city of Kabul where she dedicated over 30 years to educating and improving access to education for Afghan women. Nooria was known for her fierce tenacity and commitment to her students, and this scholarship honors an applicant with similar conviction and dedication.
Nadia is a junior biology major on the pre-medical track at the University of Texas at Austin. She is involved in research at the UT FRI Aptamer stream, and is an officer of Global Medical Brigades, and a member of Partners in Health Engage at UT. Nadia is very excited to share her journey as a second generation Muslim American pre-medical student.
The Haifa Kurdi Scholarship awards $500 to an emerging leader whose story emphasizes the role of the family in their personal journey. This scholarship celebrates the legacy of Haifa Kurdi, a strong and innovative woman who was known for her strong convictions, her competitive spirit, and her dedication to her family and her community. Honoring her legacy, this scholarship will be awarded to an applicant who reflects and nurtures these values within their own community.
Aabiya is a PhD student in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation research focuses on the socio-spatial experiences of Christian women from informal settlements in Islamabad, the capital city of a majority Muslim Pakistan, and how these impact their right and citizenship to the city, and the nation at large.
Aabiya Noman Baqai
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Through our programs in investing in future generations, MALA has forged relationships with national universities, including Loyola University Chicago; Benedictine University; CUNY; NYU; Princeton; and more
From the pool of outstanding scholarship entrants and other recruiting networks, MALA also supports a core group of next-generation Leadership Fellows. These individuals have displayed a commitment to MALA’s core values and strong leadership skills. The Fellowship provides an opportunity for them to get directly involved with MALA’s events and programs, including speaking on panels; publishing relevant content; and coordinating professional networking and social impact initiatives.
In addition, MALA has organized Community Builders Councils in several major American cities (from Chicago to New Orleans and beyond) that bring together leaders from various professional sectors for civic impact. Council members drive local programs and nurture a community where next-generation Muslim Americans of diverse background and lifestyles can feel welcome and empowered.