Board of Directors
Meet Our Dynamic & Diverse Board of Directors
Proud To Be Led By A Diverse Group of Men, Women, & Youth
We are humbled and proud to be the largest Muslim social Services and Civic Engagement organization of Ohio that is led by a very dynamic and diverse board of Directors.
Our current board is comprised of four women and three men representing 5 different ethnic groups. We have both Muslim and non-Muslim board members. We also have a large representation of under-25-years-old young people on our board.
We are proud to present our Board of Directors to you.
Founder & President/Executive Director
As a Founder, President, and Executive Director of MY Project USA, Zerqa Abid manages the organization’s assets, optimizes financial operations, provides leadership to of the staff members, establishes business goals, advises the Board of Directors about organizational activities, monitors and improves the departments and programs ensuring success on daily basis.
She has received the AARP 2023 Purpose Prize Award, the Most Outstanding Philanthropist Award (2022) from the Association of Funding Professionals (AFP), and the Everyday Hero 2019 Award from the Dispatch Media Group. Columbus Alive had listed her on their 2018 People to Watch list. She also served as a commissioner on the Greater Hilltop Area Commissioner for 3 years and chaired the Public Safety Committee of Hilltop Area Commission in 2021.
Abid is also a founding member and the President of Muslims for Ohio PAC, a political organization of Muslims in Ohio. She has served on the Hilliard Education Advisory Council. She served as the PTO President of the Hilliard Weaver Middle School. She is a member of the Hilliard Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association as well. In the past, she has worked at NBC News. She was the first General Manager of The City Channel of the ARY Digital Network of Pakistan. Through her overseas company, she also organized international trade and consumer shows.
Abid is a Pakistani-American. She is a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude graduate of North Carolina State University. She received the “Norma & Wally Ausley Merit Scholarship” for being “The Outstanding Student of Mass Communications” in 2000. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Society.
She can be reached at Info@MYProjectUSA.org
Treasurer & Chair, Hilltop Tigers Soccer Club
Russell Harris has played a major role in developing the Hilltop Tigers Soccer Club as MY Project USA’s Board Chairman and later as the Treasure of the Board of Directors.
He was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer in the mid 2019 and went through a very invasive treatment.
Regardless of his critical health situation, he continued serving the organization and mentoring the coaches and other board members. Hilltop Tigers program and the Hilltop Youth Empowerment Center was not possible without his leadership on our board.
In the past, Harris has been involved in advocating for public education for over thirty years. He was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Economics at Syracuse University. Having served as the Director of Economic Education for Ashland University. He also taught economics at Franklin University in central Ohio.
Harris served as Soccer Commissioner of the Grove City Kids Association for two years. He still serves on the Soccer Board for MY Project USA.
He can be reached at Treasurer@MYProjectUSA.org
Secretary & Director MY Family Pantry
Ramy El-Assal is an honors student studying molecular genetics and global public health at the Ohio State University.
He serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors. He is also the Director of the MY Family Pantry since February 2021, which aims to fight food insecurity in the Hilltop area. He constantly is spearheading innovative solutions to various problems as they arise in the fast-paced environment of MY Family Pantry as he aspires to improve the pantry each week to be better than the last.
He can be reached at Secretary@MYProjectUSA.org
Director, Administration & MY Deah's Warehouse
Qidwai is currently pursuing an Electrical & Computer Engineering degree at OSU. He was born and raised in Kuwait and moved to Ohio in the summer of 2019 with his family. He has been involved with non-profit work ever since he was a child. In Columbus, he has been serving, in various volunteer roles, the community at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center since his arrival.
At MY Project USA, he has voluntarily assumed the responsibility of managing MY Deah's Warehouse. This warehouse serves the community by providing them with clothing, household items, medical equipment, and anything in between that they might need at any time of the year. He has built a team that will sort, manage, sell, and distribute items throughout the year.
He received MY Deah's Excellence in Leadership & Community Services in 2021.
He can be reached at Admin@MYProjectUSA.org
Director, Social Justice & Civic Engagement
Judge Munson is spearheading the Department of Social Justice and Advocacy in MY Project USA. She, along with others within the legal community, will be mentoring and training immigrant and refugee youths and adults to become social justice warriors and advocates for their community and the country. She is taking the lead in implementing and realizing the vision of MY Project USA in terms of having in-depth experience and knowledge of the local and national justice system, implementing complex changes and innovative strategies, working closely with government leaders, community organizations, leaders, and partner organizations. She is the leading voice in combating social injustice and inequality.
Judge Munson was born and raised in Marion, Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University for her undergraduate work and received her Juris Doctor Degree from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law in 1994. She was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1994.
She spent twenty-six years representing the indigent and underserved members of our community at the Franklin County Public Defender Office. In November of 2020, she was elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, General Division where she now proudly serves all of the residents of Franklin County, doing her best to ensure fair, equal, and compassionate treatment of all.
She can be reached at Justice@MYProjectUSA.org
Director, MY Reading Warriors & Tutoring Program
Alhag-Ali is a self-driven Pharmaceutical Sciences Honors student at the Ohio State University. She is deeply passionate about community service.
She has been volunteering for MY Project USA for four years and has been Directing the MY Reading Warriors program for a year now. She has always felt the importance of prioritizing those in need. She is deeply grateful for the opportunity to give back to society through this organization.
In her free time, she plays volleyball, basketball, and badminton and she absolutely loves to bake!
She received MY Deah's Excellence in Leadership & Community Services in 2020.
She can be reached at Readers@MYProjectusa.org
Director, MY Reading Warriors & Tutoring Program
Safa Mohamed is now our youngest Board Member. She is a Finance and Political Science student at The Ohio State University. She has volunteered for MY Project USA since she was in eight grade, and began MY Reading Warriors as it is today with former Director Raifa Alhag-Ali. Now, as Director of MY Reading Warriors, she strives for it to be a community that provides mentorship and personal connects for its students, going beyond just being a reading program.
She says, "I would like to continue to serve with consistency, honor, and duty. I envision one of my biggest contributions being the restructuring of the MRW program; I want to give it structure for the long term, so my team and I have planned a nine-week program in which each lesson each week is cumulative in its lessons. I hope for this to prevent burnout for both students and MRW Board Members and maximize our effectiveness in carrying out our mission."
She can be reached at Readers@MYProjectusa.org
Ajmeri Hoque lives in Dublin with her husband and their 10 year old daughter. Ajmeri is a local defense attorney, practicing in Franklin, Fairfield and Delaware counties. Ajmeri is also a certified Guardian ad Litem for juveniles in foster care. In addition, Ajmeri Linda Hoque is on the Dublin Police Chief's Advisory Committee regarding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Ajmeri is a passionate advocate for serving the community. She has been a volunteer at pro bono clinics and a volunteer at community organizations. She's also on the Board of Pint Size Protestors. Ajmeri is very excited to join My Project USA's Board of Directors and continue to make an positive impact in our community.
She says, "I would like to volunteer in different areas within the organization including: in the juvenile justice program and also raise money and contribute personally in order to reach $20,000 for the organization."
Taha Ahmed has a Bachelor of Computer Science and has been working in software industry for over 12 years. He is a passionate technology leader providing delivery services on large IT transformation initiatives, managing multimillion-dollar budgets, aligned to specific business goals for many technological organizations.
Recently Taha has developed love for construction industry and obtained a general contractor license. Today, he has real estate projects focusing on new builds, rehabs, and restoration.
As a board member of MY Project USA, Taha aims to focus on construction improvements, workforce development and leveraging technology in different area of the organization to increase efficiency, accuracy, and growth.
Taha has been volunteering since the beginning of MY Project USA and been a pioneer support to the team. He worked very hard last year to help finish the youth center's renovation and is currently leading the kitchen and patio project. We are so lucky to have him joined our board.
Taha currently lives in Hilliard with his family and 2 cats!