Being involved in my community has given me many opportunities to exercise my voice and rights. In particular, the day I testified to the San Diego County School Board on behalf of the Halal Foods Campaign was a significant turning point in my community engagement. I was introduced to the Halal Food in Schools Campaign in 2014. I got involved with this great opportunity through the University of California San Diego Youth Council. The council is significant in its ability to provide participating youth with the connections and support to make concrete changes. In collaboration with the Mid-City CAN Food Justice Momentum Team we worked towards the resolution that would ensure halal food options in schools.

While my back was required to be to the audience, I could feel the support and understanding after reading my testimonial. When the school board members agreed to pass the resolution, the excitement in the room was exhilarating. We had won. To my surprise, many community members gave me a look of pride. Everything about that day made me recognize why I try to make changes. To think that I had a part in something that made life better for others is empowering. I wish to always continue what I did on that day. Speaking up for those who have no voice is fulfilling my dream of becoming the embodiment of hope.


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