Obama Foundation Kicks Off Leadership Event In Arizona

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 11:32am
Updated: Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 11:43am
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(Photo by Bridget Dowd - KJZZ)
Nisha Rehman is a college student who founded a nonprofit called Hands For Henna. She says her mission is to empower refugee girls through education.

The Obama Foundation hosted a kickoff event for its new Community Leadership Corps program in Phoenix Saturday. The program gathers motivated young people who want to be civic leaders by addressing specific issues in their communities.

During the two-day kickoff event, participants took part in training activities designed to equip them with skills to build a basic organizing framework, engage in dialogue with members of their community, and create an action plan to take forward a specific project.

Nisha Rehman is a college student who founded a nonprofit called Hands For Henna. She said her mission is to empower refugee girls through education.

"I provide henna services and all the money that is made goes back to refugee girls as education," Rehman said. "We more so show these girls resources they have available to them, like Khan Academy and free refugee tutoring services and we kind of show them how to use these resources to their advantage."

Rehman is applying to medical school and hopes to eventually incorporate health care into her program for refugees.  She said she thinks it’s highly important for young people like her to have a voice.

"Our lives are the ones that are going to be affected by policy changes," Rehman said. "If we don’t stand up now, then we’re going to be stuck with something and it’s going to affect us. I feel like we’re more empathetic and understanding as a whole youth population. There’s more conversations about- I want to understand you. I want to empathize with you. I want to empower you.”

Other Community Leadership Corps are kicking off this month in South Carolina and Illinois. 

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