Strong Youth building a Stronger America                                   Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

Zerqa Abid wins the AARP Purpose Prize 2023

Zerqa Abid Wins The National AARP 2023 Purpose Prize Award For Her Work In Central Ohio

Dear Family, 

Last week was bittersweet. As we mourned the brutal murder of our sweet Issa, the AARP announced five winners of their 2023 AARP Purpose Prize Award winners. I am among one of those.  

I am truly humbled and honored by this national recognition of the impact made by MY Project USA in Central Ohio in seven short years means a lot to me personally. Alhamdulillah. MashaAllah la quwata illa billah. All praise is due to God. Everything happens with His will and there is no one more powerful than Him. I praise Him and pray that He accepts all of this effort from me and all of you on the Day of Judgment.  

First & foremost, this award goes to my beloved parents who raised my right to do this hard but rewarding work. This award goes to my amazing husband and my children, without whom I wouldn't be able to do so much for so long.

This award goes to our amazing kids, our reading warriors, our beloved Issa and other Hilltop Tigers soccer champions who have stepped up to do better and more for themselves and their parents.

This award also goes to you MY Project USA's Village - our partners, our donors, our contributors, our staff, our volunteers, our entire community. This award was not possible if you did not step up to protect & empower our youth and their families. This award was not possible if you did not donate your time, food, supplies and money to help me get the work done. Thank you so much. 

This award comes with a $50,000 cash prize that I am dedicating 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.

In Solidarity with Youth and Families, 

Zerqa Abid, 

Founder & Executive Director, 

MY Project USA

Remember Issa Jeylani. Commit To Keep His Legacy Alive. 

Please Pitch in Whatever You Can & Help Us Protect & Empower Our Youth.

On Friday, July 22nd, we lost our sweet, caring, 15-year-old, Issa Jeylani to senseless gun/gang violence on the westside of Columbus, Ohio. Issa was one of the top U16 soccer players in the Central Ohio soccer world. He and his entire team were harassed, bullied and shot by some gangsters while they were simply playing in their own neighborhood. The entire neighborhood was terrorized by senseless shooting that night.

As a result, we are not only dealing with the loss of our dear Issa's life, but also a serious mental health crises in the form of trauma, shock and depression organization-wide. As always, we stepped up and stood by the Jeylani family and took care of the cost of funeral, burial and other immediate support to the family in the form of supplies and food for people gathered at their home immediately after the incident. Following are additional measures that are being taken care of or in progress in the aftermath of this incident: 

  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 Jeylani family and other 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


Join MY Project USA's Board of Directors

Applications Open Now. Interviews Start On August 15th.

If you are a generous, compassionate person who wants to use your gifts to protect and empower underserved youth and uplift communities in central Ohio and beyond, then here is your chance. Join the Board of Directors of MY Project USA.

We are humbled and proud to be the largest Muslim social Services and Civic Engagement organization in Ohio that is led by a very dynamic and diverse Board of Directors.

Our current board is comprised of four women and three men representing 5 different ethnic groups. We have both Muslim and non-Muslim board members. We also have a large representation of under-25-years-old young people on our board. We are hoping to add 2-4 more board members to our current board.

Please click below to learn more about the role and criteria to be a board member and to apply for the position.

MY Project USA Youth Launch Hilltop Youth Community Action Team

Youth Taking Lead in Addressing Gun/Gang Violence Through Their Advocacy

Last month, four amazing youth leaders, Qali Ahmed, Yusuf Mohamed, Sarah Mukumbira and Abdi Bakari,  from MY Project USA attended the Youth to Youth national conference at the Ohio Dominican University. Youth to Youth conferences address issues that are relevant to teens. This conference is designed for youth and their supporting adults to participate together in all aspects of the conference for a uniquely shared experience. Working side by side, they will have the opportunity to construct and/or revitalize a plan of action to implement back home. Adults will also have opportunities to network with other like-minded adults and to learn effective strategies to guide their teens to success.

They were on top of learning, networking, team building and coming with the ideas to protect and empower the youth In the Hilltop area. Thanks to our Founder and Executive Director Zerqa Abid who made this possible for them to attended and who took four days out to be with them as adult supervisor to make sure that they get everything they need to be the leader they need to be to uplift their community.

We are so proud of our team and know that they will continue to rise and shine.

This Is Why You Should Support Us

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


MY Project USA Addressing Human Trafficking, Drugs, & Gangs in Ohio


Share This


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

Follow Us

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences