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In this newsletter: 

  1. Message from the Founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid
  2. "Narratives of Resilience" 8th Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony - Early Bird Sale Ends Oct 15
  3. AARP Purpose Prize Awards Ceremony in Washington DC, October 25, 2022
  4. Vote for AARP Inspire Award Due October 15
  5. Hilltop Tigers Report by NBC4 & Safety Fundraiser
  6. Deah Barakat & Chrys Gee Award Nomination Due October 15
  7. MY Leaders program Application Deadline October 15
  8. Free Immigration Clinic for Afghan Refugees on October 16
  9. MY Justice Warriors Open House October 22, 2020
  10. Rent & Utilities Support information for clients
  11. MY Deah's Warehouse & Store Update
  12. Professional Mentoring Information for highschool youth & professionals

Hilltop Tigers U10 Win The Annual United Barcelona Futbol Cup!!! 

Join Us On Nov. 12th To Hear Their Stories & Celebrate Them & Our Village 

Your Support & Our Work Changes The Odds For These Kids. Together, We Save Their Lives & Future

Dear Family,

The kids in our afterschool and recreation programs, regardless of the prevalence of violence and crimes in the neighborhood, are making great strides everyday. Above is another beautiful picture of our amazing U10 Hilltop Tigers champions and their awesome soccer coaches after winning the Championship at the Barcelona United earlier this month. 

This is why we do what we do. This is how we protect and empower our children.   

Whenever we celebrate their victory, we also recognize the continuous challenge of protecting them, and hundreds of others, from drugs and gangs and empowering them with education, recreation and many other opportunities to make sure that they rise and shine and become the productive citizens and leaders in their communities. We are so cautious, because we deal with young lives lost so often that we lose the count sometimes.

Sadly another 13-year-old kid was murdered yesterday in the Wedgewood Village Apartments. This time possibly for making wrong choices related to drugs and gangs activities. His brother is still recovering from the gun wounds. We are praying for a full and speedy recovery and a productive future for him. The incident happened at 5:45 pm when we were releasing the kids from our afterschool program at Eakin Elementary School in the neighborhood. It traumatized the school staff and families once again.

I am heartbroken for the kid who lost his life and for his family. May God help them while they deal with this loss. May He help them in saving their other children from the gangs and drugs epidemic. It's easy to blame them, but truly it is so out of control on the west side that many parents need so much more help than average parents in any other neighborhood. So I feel for them and hope to bring more resources to them and other parents. 

This is why we do everything possible to empower parents. 

Empowering people in these neighborhoods is a huge undertaking. I was aware of it when I started the organization and picked Wedgewood as our pilot neighborhood in 2015. I am humbled and proud of the results we have made and I am still as confident as I was on day one that we can change this neighborhood to even better, if we keep doing what we are doing. If we have more support and resources, we can even expand our programs to more children in other neighborhoods.  

This is what we will be talking about in our upcoming annual banquet on Nov. 12th. Please see the information below. Book your seat now. Sponsor the event. Book a table for your family and friends. Know that every single penny you spent on MY Project USA goes back to the most needy, underserved but the brightest and beautiful children in Columbus. You can help us show to the world that they are the best!!!

In Solidarity with Youth & Families, 

Zerqa Abid,

Founder & Executive Director

MY Project USA   

MY Project USA annual banquet 2022


8th Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony

Celebrating Columbus' Immigrant & Refugee Youth & Allies

A fundraiser to support MY Project USA's programs to Protect & Empower Youth & Families

MY Deah's Awards & Chrys Gee's Award will be presented at this event

Please Join Us for an Inspirational Evening with Elected Officials, Interfaith and Community Leaders and our Youth Leaders as we gather to support and celebrate Columbus Youth and Families.

In the last eight years, MY Project USA has become a mainstream Muslim Social Services & Civic Engagement Organization. We are working hand in hand with our interfaith and social justice partners to bring prosperity and hope to the under-served communities in Columbus. At our annual banquet, we will celebrate our accomplishments. We will also re-energize our base and will raise money to continue and grow our work to the next level. Please join us and bring your family and friends with you. 

The proceeds of this dinner: 

  • will be used to protect and empower Columbus needy and undeserved families.
  • will be used to help new refugees with ESL, driving classes and other job training and employment services.
  • will help launch and grow initiatives to address hunger, poverty, family violence, drugs, gangs, human trafficking and many other issues that need our urgent attention. 
  • will help train mentors and advocates to work with Columbus youth and families one on one basis. 
  • will help initiate and further more Muslim social services in the partnership with the City of Columbus, local organizations and other agencies in Columbus. 



Child under 10: $20 ǀ Family Childcare: $50 ǀ Student: $50 ǀ Adult: $80 ǀ Table of 10: $750

Join Zerqa Abid at "The Power of Purpose" Awards by AARP on October 25 in Washington DC

RSVP to Purpose Prize Event

AARP's Contest for Inspire Award - You Can Vote

Help Zerqa Abid Win The Contest & $10,000 For Us

Vote for Inspire Award Winner Now

The Purpose Prize award comes with a $50,000 cash prize that she has dedicated to Hilltop Tigers, girls & women recreation programs. The AARP is also having an online contest to choose an Inspire Award winner among the five of us. The Inspire Award winner will receive an additional $10,000 cash prize. Please click on the link below. It will take you 2 minutes to register and vote for me. We could totally use the additional $10,000 to empower more girls in our community. InshaAllah.

2022 Call For Nominations For Deah Barakat & Chrys Gee Awards

Nomination Deadline October 15th.

It's the time to cherish the memories of our beloved Deah Barakat and Chrys Gee. Time to nominate our next awards winners that have followed their footsteps in serving the community through services and civic engagement. Following awards are up for nominations:

1. Deah's Change Maker of The Year Award​​

2. Deah's Excellence in Community Service & Leadership Award (Adult & Youth Categories)

3. Deah's Community Service Award

4. Chrys Gee Activist Award

Details about each honoree, award criteria and application form is on our website.

All forms must be submitted online by 8:00 pm, Saturday, October 15th 2022.

They will be presented to the winners at our "NARRATIVES OF RESILIENCE" 8th Annual Banquet & Awards

Book your tickets for the event here. 

Hilltop Tigers sign contracts to receive scholarship

Watch NBC 4 coverage about the scholarship given to Hilltop Tigers youth leaders

MY Project USA Signs Empowerment Contracts with Teen Soccer Players

MY Project USA has taken our Hilltop Tigers Soccer Program to the next level by investing into some of our best teen soccer players.

Gulled, Jamal, Mukumbira and Gulled have already signed their contracts. They will be helping the program as Assistant Soccer Coaches while getting into advance leadership, academic and athletic programs and training. They will be doing 5 community hours each week as well.

We are honored by the trust that these families place in our organization for the future of their talented children. We are truly moved by some of the statements these moms made about the impact of our program on their children.

MY Project USA has committed to invest about $20,000 in each of these youth per year. This is an investment of about $240,000 in two years. We appreciate all our donors and funders for their continuous support to our program. This is in addition to the investment that our organization will make in the lives and futures of other hundreds of children served through soccer and other programs in the same time.

Thanks to the vision and leadership of our founder & Executive Director Zerqa Abid and our Treasurer and Soccer Board Chair @Russ Harris in making this program a sustainable program for so many children. Huge thanks to President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and rest of the Columbus City Council members for their support for making this program possible for us.

Please join our Hilltop Tigers Fans club to keep supporting them and others in our soccer program.

Please keep us in your prayers and donate to our ongoing Facebook Fundraiser here:

Hilltop Tigers Safety Fundraiser

Increased Security Measures and Mental Health Support System Enacted to Protect All of Our Youth 

Estimated Cost of Additional Expenses is $150,000

Following is the list of actions we have taken after the homicide of our beloved Issa. 

  1.  Referring all team members, staff and their families to external mental health professionals for therapy.
  2. Hiring a full-time mental health professional to provide services on daily basis.
  3. Upgrading safety measures at the youth center.
  4. Hiring of security guards/off-duty police officers for all outdoor practices and games
  5. Securing health & life coaches to work with most impacted individuals
  6. Organizing weekly events and more activities for all youths and families to relax their minds and provide them with more opportunities to do better
  7. Renting an indoor facility to provide a guarded space for youth to play safely in a rough neighborhood.

We have some of the money covered by a couple grants, but we need an additional estimated amount of  $150,000 this year to cover the cost of security guards, police officers and other safety measures per year.

Currently, we have an active Facebook fundraiser going on to support the measures listed above. Thanks to the current donors for their generous support in this very difficult time, we were able to cover the cost of all funeral related expenses. We still need help with the everything else listed above. 

Please keep us in your prayers. Please pitch in whatever you can. Please also share widely in your circles and ask your friends and family to help us. Facebook takes care of the donation processing with no fees.

Other Ways To Donate:
Pay By Check: Please make checks payable to MY Project USA and send them to P.O. Box 1311, Hilliard, OH 43026
You can pay on our 
Website Here
Zelle Direct Deposit ID:
Venmo ID: MYProjectUSA
Please email us at if you may have any questions or comments about your donations to MY Project USA

MY Leaders Class of 2022 Application opens

MY Leaders Youth Leadership Class of 2022-23 Applications are open Now Project USA Youth 

Application Deadline - October 15, 2022

If you are age 14-18

tired of guns, gangs, drugs, violence, injustice and more in your community

want to organize your friends

  • want to advocate against it
  • want to help your peers be strong and stay safe
  • want to work with State, City and community leaders
  • want to engage media & be vocal about it
  • want to do something else about it

Apply To Join Us Today!

This program is funded by Youth 2 Youth International and The Women's Fund of Central Ohio. We are partnering with the Highland Youth Garden, Ohio Women's Alliance and other local organizations to bring more diversity to the group and to equip our youth with various skills that they need to become successful community leaders and advocates for themselves and their communities.

The first cohort will focus on addressing the gangs, guns and drugs within our communities.

Please share with the youth in your network.


Free Immigration Clinic For Afghan Refugees

Call for Pro-bono Immigration Lawyers

MY Justice Warriors, an initiative of MY Project USA, is looking for immigration attorneys willing to assist in providing pro-bono services to families in Central Ohio.

Our goal is to gather attorneys and have each handle 1-2 families to help these families obtain their citizenships during a one-day event on October 16th.

If you cannot attend in-person but are still willing to help, please reach out to Judge Sheryl Munson at the email below.

Brady Ware & Company Auditors Give Highest Ranks to MY Project USA's Fiscal Management Practices

We are so proud and humbled!

Thanks to the hard work of our founder and Executive Director Zerqa Abid, Treasurer Russ Harris and Director Administration Uzair Qidwai for staying on the top of our fiscal management, record keeping and accounting. Full report is available on our website.

MY Project USA Auditor Report 2021
PD Mentoring at MY Project USA
Community Development:

MY Professional Mentoring Initiative - Be A Mentor or A Mentee

MY Project USA has always strived relentlessly to provide the best development opportunities to their community. Maintaining that momentum, MY Project USA is proud to provide Professional Mentoring opportunities to underserved highschool students and adults.

This is an extension and supplement to the Mentoring program provided by the “Under My Wing” initiative. We are super excited about this program’s prospect.

The focus of this initiative is to ensure that underserved high school students and adults are prepared for post-secondary education, trade schools, or entry-level professional success.

Our aim is to develop professional skills such as communication skills, career development soft-skills, goal setting, self-efficacy for personal and professional development; and academic development skills such as college application process and knowledge about career fields.

This program aims to develop healthy decision-making in young people by providing them with professional adult mentors who can listen, guide, and provide meaningful opportunities.

If you are a youth interested in participating in this program as a Mentee then please complete Mentee Application. If you are a college student and would like to help a high school student going to college, please complete College Mentor Application. If you are interested in being a Professional Mentor then please complete Professional Mentor Application. We will reach out to you individually as we start screening the applicants.


MY Helpline: 

Rent & Utilities Support Available At MY Project USA

We have been working very hard in securing grants and building collaboration with other partners to help our clients. Thanks to The Columbus Foundation, United Way of Central Ohio, and IMPACT Community Action, we are still able to help more of our families with their rent and utilities. If you or someone you know needs help, please ask them to contact us at 614-905-0977 or


7 Locations In Columbus To Drop Off Donations - Truck Pick Up Available For Large Donations

You can now drop off your donations of new and gently used clothes, shoes books, toys and other small non-breakable items in a donation box near you. These location Include: 

Noor Islamic Cultural Center -  5001 Wilcox Rd. Dublin 43016
Masjid Nimrah - 4501 Refugee Rd, Columbus, OH 43232
MAS Youth Center - 4615 Northtowne Blvd, Columbus, OH. 43229
Turkish American Society of Ohio (TASO) - 2885 W Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43235
Ahlul Bayt Society - 2580 W Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43235
The First Congregational Church - 444 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
MY Deah's Warehouse - 4004 Fondorf Dr. Columbus, OH 43228.  During Business Hours Only

We are looking for more locations. If interested in helping us or have any other question, please contact us at


This Is Why You Should Support Us


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MY Project USA
3275 Sullivant Ave | Columbus, Ohio  43204
614-905-0977 |

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