About Us

It is past due that Muslims here in America [Minnesota in particular] start to concentrate and plan for the future. The youth today are the future leaders of our community, and should be the focus of our future planning. It is imperative for the community to invest ample energy, resources and money to encourage and provide the youth with all the necessary skills needed to become exemplary human beings and representatives of this noble tradition. Therefore, with the guidance of GOD Almighty, we have established the first ever scholarship exclusively for Minnesota Youth.

Our Vision

  • To foster Youth Leaders in Minnesota
  • To encourage active participation of the youth in Community Activities (volunteerism), outreach activities, and to be good citizens of the community.
  • To encourage higher education of future leaders.
  • To provide youth with additional monetary compensation so that they can spend time organizing youth oriented and community outreach activities rather than working low paying jobs to pay for their education.
  • To encourage youth to participate in activities that promote diversity and tolerance and to work towards eliminating prejudice and discrimination by educating the public on other cultures, with a focus on the Islamic and Muslim cultures.
  • This award has been established to assist, prepare and encourage the future leaders in our communities. This is intended to instill and encourage a spirit of community service in the youth along with their educational endeavors.

Our Board

Card image

Sami Khwaja - President and Endowment Director

  • Board Member since 2012
  • MYLA Scholarship Recipient 2007-08
  • Management Consultant/Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Protiviti Consulting
  • Bachelor Of Science In Business, Accounting and Finance, University of Minnesota

“I am passionate about helping students fund their education along with becoming future leaders in society. MYLA has helped the community in many ways, and yet has the potential to make a much greater impact on many more students.”

Sami’s role includes overseeing all operations of the board, motivating and supporting board members and operations, assessing progress to date on strategic plan, and instituting efficiencies to better fund, expand, and strengthen MYLA. He also manages the MYLA endowment fund, including soliciting donations, overseeing deposits/distributions, growing the fund, and supporting the electronic scholarship application process.


Card image

Aisha Ahmed - Vice President

  • Board Member since 2015
  • MYLA Scholarship Recipient 2014-15
  • Research Coordinator, MN Heart Institute Foundation (Abbott Northwestern Hospital)
  • Bachelor Of Science, Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, University of Minnesota

“MYLA is a unique organization in that they not only provide scholarships, but also form relationships with students and provide the tools and resources for those students to become future community leaders. There is a major need for MYLA in the Muslim community, from providing interest free loans to helping low-income students, there is so much we have yet to achieve.”

Aisha’s role includes building relationships with local organizations and institutions, supporting MYLA’s strategic vision and direction as laid out in the strategic plan, executing special projects as needed, and assisting in fundraising for the various funds, including educational awards and endowment.


Card image

Syed Sumran Mohiuddin - Treasurer

  • Board Member since 2011
  • Principal Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Medtronic, Inc
  • Master of Science, Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California

“I was inspired to join MYLA as it was started by a few active members of the local Minnesota Muslim community, run by and sustained by the local community. The enthusiasm, drive, and dedication of my fellow board members inspires me to push myself so we can realize the further potential and opportunities that lay ahead for MYLA.”

Sumran’s role includes monitoring and growing revenues and overseeing all financial reporting, donor transactions, award letters, scholarship payments, taxes, reimbursements, and payments.


Card image

Rima Ali - Scholarship Director

  • Board Member since 2018
  • MYLA Scholarship Recipient 2013-15
  • Psychotherapist - The Center for Victims of Torture
  • Master of Arts, Counseling and Psychological Services, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

“As a two-time recipient of MYLA scholarships as an undergraduate, I am indebted to the organization. I joined the board in order to give back and help other students receive awards, just like I did. MYLA is the only organization in Minnesota that I know of that provides scholarships and interest-free loans to Muslim students.”

Rima’s role includes coordinating the entire scholarship process, including outreach, applications, review, awards, and networking with mentors.


Card image

Kimiya Yusuf - Secretary

  • Board Member since 2018
  • MYLA Scholarship Recipient 2014-15
  • Masters in Elementary Education, University of Minnesota

“As a MYLA scholarship recipient, I always felt compelled to give back to the community and organization that helped achieve my academic dreams with no strings attached. I am grateful that Allah has given me the opportunity to be part of the important work that is being done by MYLA.”

Kimiya’s role includes managing logistics for events, workshops, fundraisers, and award ceremonies, coordinating event timelines ensuring deadlines are met, composing meeting notes and reports, and responding and connecting to scholarship applicants, recipients, and donors via regular correspondence.


Card image

Reies Romero - Marketing Director

  • Board Member since 2016
  • Licensed Social Worker, Behavioral Justice, Restorative Justice: Roseville Area Schools
  • Chapter Leader, Omega Zuluz Twin Cities MN (Zulu King)
  • Minnesota Chapter Director, James Dewitt Yancey Foundation
  • Bachelor of Social Work, Augsburg College

“I believe we must be selfless in our commitment to our youth to see them succeed in all facets of life and society. I continue the work of MYLA to reach multiple communities to offer our vision, service and expertise to cultivate a cohesive and productive society.”

Reies’ role includes promoting and increasing awareness of MYLA by creating and managing mailings, flyers, brochures, branding strategies, and other printed and electronic material, and managing publicity of events and activities.


Card image

Faizan Rauf - Web Developer

  • Board Member since 2015
  • Software Developer, ERCOT
  • Bachelor of Science, Information Technology, Minnesota State University, Mankato

“I had been volunteering in mosques, Muslim Student Associations, and other non-profits when I discovered MYLA through its reputation in the community. I loved that folks realized right away that I could help them with their website, and I could be part of how everyone is committed to making MYLA better everyday.”

Faizan’s role includes updating and enhancing the website, creating and soliciting copy, maintaining infrastructure, and integrating other software and social media with the website.