Ibraheem Razouki, a student at Houston, Texas' Lamar High School, has a fascinating background that has shaped who he is now. During the Iraq War, Ibraheem was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and he eventually immigrated to Jordan and the US. He established AIM to AID, a nonprofit organization, to assist those who are struggling with resettlement issues, notably refugees.
Ibraheem has led several organizations, and he has successfully planned and carried out charitable activities that have raised over $3,000 through his leadership. To have a significant impact on the lives of refugees, he has collaborated with groups like Refugee Services of Texas and the Islamic Society of Greater Houston. Two President's Volunteer Service Awards—one in gold and one in bronze—have been given to him in recognition of his perseverance and commitment.
Continue reading to learn what motivated Ibraheem to support these causes.
SUMMARY OF THE VOLUNTEER ROLE YOU PLAY.
I am the organization's creator and CEO under the 501(c)(3) tax code. My main responsibility at the company is to manage all operations, ensure that everything is going as smoothly as possible, and, most importantly, ensure that we have a long-term vision for our objectives.
I do have a five-year strategy for our company to guarantee its long-term success! We want to make sure that AIM to AIDS is contributing to the solution of the refugee situation, particularly since it is not something we can do on our own in a few years. Setting us up for long-term prosperity is my most significant duty.
We have now interacted with over 100 refugees as a group, and we have amassed $15,000 in grants and donations! Additionally, we have five national chapters, with locations in New York, Texas, Minnesota, California, and most recently, Michigan. Additionally, we have gathered and delivered over 1,000 items, including children's clothing and toys.
WHY DID YOU GET THE IDEA TO START THIS INITIATIVE?
I have a Middle Eastern heritage. I was born in Baghdad, and when war broke out there in the early 2000s, my family was forced to flee first to Jordan and then to the United States.
My co-founder Zane and I were motivated to find our foundation after seeing my parents and other family members struggle with assimilating into American culture and Western culture in general.
We have some understanding of what it's like to struggle, the effects it has, and the obstacles it creates while adjusting to a new environment. I was motivated to assist others who were relocating by this as well as the fact that I had to travel around a lot when I was in the country (I'm used to being the new kid in school!).
Having tools for the community, such as a brochure project that contrasts American with Middle Eastern cultures, was one of the key priorities we identified early on. Around a year ago, we distributed these pamphlets throughout the Houston region because one of the major resettlement problems we found was the abundance of cultural hurdles that people face when arriving in the United States, not to mention the financial and economic difficulties.
ANY POSITIVE STORIES RELATING TO YOUR VOLUNTEER WORK?
Contacting refugees is more difficult than you may imagine. However, our first live event, which took place a few months ago, was the most satisfying. Finally, we were able to collaborate with an organization that valued and granted us that privilege. In that case, congratulations to Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston! After putting in between 8 and 11 months to get this cooperation, we're still working with them after the first live event.
WHY IS GETTING INVOLVED WITH THE CAUSES YOU CARE ABOUT IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE, EVEN YOUNG PEOPLE?
People often wonder why I'd work for a nonprofit when I want to pursue a career in technology or business, but I've always been interested in entrepreneurship. But starting a nonprofit that helped a problem I cared about gave me greater motivation to keep pursuing my interests and developing the skills I needed.
Congratulations to Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston in that case! After the initial live event, we were still collaborating with them after working with them for between 8 and 11 months to gain their cooperation.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE, EVEN YOUNG PEOPLE, TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE CAUSES THEY CARE ABOUT?
People frequently question why, when I want to work in technology or business, I work for a nonprofit, but I've always been interested in entrepreneurship. But establishing a nonprofit that solved a problem I was passionate about provided me more incentive to continue pursuing my interests and honing the necessary abilities.
For me, it's more a matter of how I was brought up, with a core principle of selflessness. Both my religion and my family place a high priority on it. helping others and having goals rather than pursuing achievement or money. It's very important to pursue an endeavor that is greater than yourself.
WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO ACCOMPANY YOUR STORY WITH?
The most crucial step is to simply begin. Just get started if you have something you're interested in and enthusiastic about. It was merely an idea and a website when we first started in March 2022. I didn't anticipate it would gain the kind of traction it did. We began with blogs and pamphlets, and that led to the fundraising and grant-writing of thousands of dollars, as well as our collaboration with other organizations to expand awareness across the nation.
So, I advise you to simply try your best. Just begin. People overemphasize planning and meticulousness in their approach, which is vital but can sometimes result in stagnation. If you're enthusiastic about it and stay with it over the long haul, try different things, do your best, and eventually, things will take care of themselves.
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