Throughout the Bush Foundation fellowship journey, I have seen many prospects that made me feel so proud about my leadership and became known within the community that I work with as well as the mainstream partners including banks, community developers, faith leaders, government entities and nonprofit allies.
In addition, I have been able to reach out a number of financial leaders both from the federal and state levels who are now part of the alternative financing committee that I have created. In addition, during the fellowship work, I felt so lucky because I have made new connections, create new networks, and made number decision makers to think about my leadership in the alternative culturally appropriate financing for the Muslims in Minnesota and beyond.
Furthermore, the fellowship built my leadership credibility because I have put together the first Islamic financing mechanism committee led by a member of the Immigrant/Muslim community in the state. A lot of people reach me out on a daily basis asking when we will be able to use the mechanism that you are working on. Some people who are professional from the Muslim community that I didn’t know before are reaching me out inquiring about if the system that I am working on will allow them to buy homes, take loans from small businesses, and build wealth. Thus, I have seen an authentic community trust not only from the business owners or the professionals but also the faith leaders. More than 12 mosques and their Imams are patiently waiting to see the final product, add their inputs, and then give an endorsement and consents.
The Bush Foundation fellowship allowed me to pursue my academic dream of getting the Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA). Since the summer of 2018, which was soon after the fellowship started, I have registered classes and started the academic courses. So far, I have taken 20 credits (five classes) where I got four “A” and one “B+”. I am so grateful that my GPA stands really good at 3.89 thus far.
In academic learning, I have acquired lifetime experiences that would be essential to my leadership in navigating the complex systems of government, policy analysis, and working relationships between the local, state, and federal levels of government, taxations, and fiscal budget managements. I have truly understood the value of strategic planning, principles, and concepts of organizational change; understand the pros and cons of strategic planning for a small and large public, business and nonprofit organizations.
Lastly, I have also built my leadership capacity to demonstrate effective critical reasoning and analytical skills in addressing public sector problems. Demonstrate professionally written communication strategies, and apply public administration concepts to analysis of problems/issues. In addition, I have acquired to comprehend the best ways to compare and contrast traditional and emerging paradigms in organization theory, comparing explicit theories of organization with more implicit, complex theories.