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

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Sami Khwaja - President and Endowment Director

  • Board Member since 2012
  • MYLA Scholarship Recipient 2007-08
  • Management Consultant/Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Protiviti
  • Bachelor Of Science In Business, Accounting and Finance, University of Minnesota
  • 15-year resident of Minnesota, currently residing in Woodbury.

“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 potential to make a much greater impact on many more students.”

MYLA Board Tasks Include: Overseeing all operations of the Board, motivating and supporting Board members and operations, assessing progress to date on strategic plan, instituting efficiencies to better fund, expand, and strengthen MYLA. Manage the MYLA Endowment Fund, including soliciting donations, overseeing deposits/distributions, growing the Endowment Fund, and supporting the electronic scholarship application process.

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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
  • High School Graduate, Al-Amal School
  • Minnesota native, currently residing in Brooklyn Center

“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.”

MYLA Board Tasks Include: Logistics for events, workshops, fundraisers, and award ceremonies; coordinate event timelines ensuring deadlines are met; compose meeting notes and reports; respond and connect to scholarship applicants, recipients and donors via regular correspondence, e-mail and social media (SnapChat).

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Syed Sumran Mohiuddin - Treasurer

  • Board Member since 2011
  • Principal Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Medtronic, Inc
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Electronics & Communications Engineering, Osmania Univ.
  • Master of Science, Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California
  • 10-year Minnesota resident, currently residing in Woodbury; previously lived in Saudi
  • Arabia, India, and 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.”

MYLA Board Tasks Include: Monitoring and growing revenues, overseeing all financial reporting, donor transactions, award letters, scholarship payments, taxes, reimbursements, and payments.

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Rabia Mumtaz - Communications Director

  • Board Member since 2012
  • CMRA Program Coordinator, U.S. Bank
  • Youth & Communications Committees, NorthWest Islamic Community Center
  • Masters of Arts, Textile Design, Punjab University
  • 13-year Minnesota resident, currently residing in Blaine; previously lived in Pakistan.

"This organization’s commitment and dedication towards Education is what inspired me to join MYLA. This and the dream behind the creation of this organization, the talent of the youth that apply for scholarships each year, and the sheer dedication of the board members is what makes me want to take MYLA to the next level."

MYLA Board Tasks Include: Creating and managing communications on behalf of MYLA Board with all constituents; donors, recipients, applicants, attendees, mentors, future applicants. Responsible for recipient led initiatives and for constituent engagement.

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Rima Ali - Scholarship Director

  • Board Member since 2018
  • MYLA Scholarship Recipient 2013-15
  • Mental Health Practitioner III, People Incorporated
  • Master of Arts, Counseling and Psychological Services, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of Minnesota
  • 10-year Minnesota resident, currently residing in Fridley; previously lived in Abu Dhabi, UAE and Fargo, ND.

“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.”

MYLA Board Tasks Include: Coordinator of the entire time-intensive MYLA scholarship process from start to finish, including outreach, applications, review, awards, and networking with mentors.

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Kimiya Yusuf - Secretary

  • Board Member since 2018
  • MYLA Scholarship Recipient 2014-15
  • Elementary School Teacher, Pioneers Academy
  • Masters in Elementary Education, University of Minnesota
  • Bachelors in Elementary Education, University of Minnesota
  • 15-year Minnesota Resident, currently living in New Brighton; previously lived in Kenya and Ethiopia.

“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.”

MYLA Board Tasks Include: Coordinator of the entire time-intensive MYLA scholarship process from start to finish, including outreach, applications, review, awards, and networking with mentors.

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Reies Romero - Marketing Director

  • Board Member since 2016
  • Licensed Social Worker, Saint Paul Public Schools
  • Minnesota Chapter Director, James Dewitt Yancey Foundation
  • Bachelor of Social Work, Augsburg College
  • Associate of Arts, Saint Paul College Graduate
  • 35-year resident of Minnesota, currently residing in Saint Paul; previously lived in New Mexico

“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.”

MYLA Board Tasks Include: 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.

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Faizan Rauf - Web Developer

  • Board Member since 2015
  • Software Developer, Deluxe Corporation
  • Bachelor of Science, Information Technology, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • 7-year resident of Minnesota, currently residing in Apple Valley

“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.”

MYLA Board Tasks Include: Update and enhance website, create and solicit copy, maintain infrastructure, and integrate other software and social media with website.