top of page

MY Project USA in the News

Drive-up food pantry keeps community safe, provide much-needed service

March 28, 2020

NBC 4 News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Food pantries are finding new ways to keep our community safe while providing their much-needed services.

Volunteers loaded up people’s cars with groceries and food this morning at My Family Pantry on Sullivant Avenue.

They did a “drive-through pantry” so clients don’t have to leave their cars.

My Family Pantry said it is seeing a major increase in need right now.

Teens, volunteers honored for passing out millions of meals, snacks in West Columbus

December 16, 2019

by Haley Nelson - abc 6 News

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Teen after teen was honored for taking on hunger and food insecurity in the community at the final Columbus City Council meeting of the year.

"We have passed about 2.5 million meals and snacks in just three years without paying anybody a single penny for it, like all the labor, it is volunteer labor," said MY Project USA Founder Zerqa Abid.

MY Project USA's My Family Food Pantry volunteers have passed out snacks and meals in West Columbus for about three years now.

Town hall tackles issues facing central Ohio Muslim youth

November 16, 2019


Focused on breaking barriers and starting a dialogue on taboo topics, a town hall meeting for Muslim youth is the first of its kind in central Ohio.

The event, held Saturday in an auditorium at the Ohio State University, featured a panel discussion on the issues facing Muslim youth today.


“We all need to be on the same page,” organizer and My USA founder Zerqa Abid said.

“Too Western” Somali youth tells her story

November 16, 2019

Eric Halperin - NBC 4 News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A group of local leaders and activists is trying to make Muslim kids feel more comfortable talking about their challenges.

On Saturday My Project USA hosted what they called a Muslim Youth Town Hall. Organizers say it was the first of of its kind in Columbus.

“We, in 2019 should be at the point where our youth should be able to come forward, discuss these issues,” said Zerqa Abid, Founder and Executive Director of My Project USA. “We need to do our very best to protect and empower these youth. People mostly in our community try to keep these issues under the rug.” 

Zerqa Abid named Dispatch Media Group’s Everyday Hero for 2019

October 01, 2019

Suzzane Gold-Smith - Columbus Monthly Magazines

Founder of MY Project USA to serve immigrant Hilltop residents honored for service to the community

Zerqa Abid, founder of MY Project USA, was named Dispatch Media Group’s Everyday Hero for 2019 today in a ceremony held at COSI. The award comes with a $10,000 donation to the organization of Abid’s choosing, funded by the Columbus Foundation. Abid’s nonprofit employs Hilltop youth, many of them Somali immigrants, to help them improve their own lives through soccer and community service.


Four finalists for the award received in-kind gifts of advertising services worth $7,500 each from the Columbus Dispatch and its magazines, including Columbus Monthly. All of the finalists received family COSI memberships.

Meet the Everyday Heroes of 2019 - Zerqa Abid

September 01, 2019

Suzzane Gold-Smith | Dispatch Magazines

In 2017, seven people were killed in Wedgewood Village, a 684-unit low-income housing complex on the West Side, leading The Columbus Dispatch to call it “Columbus’ deadliest location.” In the wake of that violent season, commander Scott Hyland, who oversaw the Columbus Division of Police’s West Side patrol for five years before starting a new assignment this summer, began walking the streets of the low-rise complex himself. He hoped to develop relationships in a troubled and fearful community that is home to many Somali refugees and immigrants. But Hyland couldn’t seem to make headway until he met Zerqa Abid, the founder of an initiative to engage the complex’s young people in soccer, reading and other programs. 

Community formerly known for violent crime aims to turn things around

June 07, 2019

Shawn Lanier - NBC4 News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Wedgewood Village apartments have undergone a huge transformation from a community known for its violence to a community that places safety and unity first.

My Project USA held an Eid party to bring the community together.

“We’re not doing this for ourselves, we’re doing this to help out this community, to help out the kids,” said 15-year-old Abdulk Adir, who works with My Project USA.

Kids who live in the Wedgewood Village apartments stepped up to make a difference in place they live.

“It makes me happy to be able to help out my community,” said Abdi Bakari.

It was a place that has been known for it’s violence.

“Three years ago, you wouldn’t want to move there,” said Adir.

Westside community aims to keep children, residents safe

June 07, 2019

Rob Sneed - NBC 4 News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus residents on the westside are winding down after a community party that looks to transform a neighborhood once riddled with crime.

A local non-profit is helping residents at Wedgewood Village Apartments keep violence and crime away.

At the community party Friday, the music and food was used to bring the communtity together, and to give younger residents somethign to do.

“I’m actually feeling pretty happy and excited cause seeing the kids all having fun and stuff,” said Quali Ahmed, one of the teen residents of Wedgewood.

Vigil held for victims of New Zealand Shooting at Ohio Statehouse

March 17, 2019

By Sarah Wynn - abc6 News

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Muslim and community leaders in Central Ohio gathered at the Ohio Statehouse on Sunday to pay their respects to the victims of the New Zealand shooting.

"We wanted to make sure that we gather, and we can create a space where we can work together," said event organizer Zerqa Abid.

People to Watch: Zerqa Abid

August 01, 2018

By Erica Thompson - Columbus Alive

The self-proclaimed “fighter mom” is transforming Wedgewood Village into a “role model community”

Zerqa Abid could hardly contain her excitement during a late-July interview at My Deah’s thrift shop, where she also runs her nonprofit, MY Project USA. She’d received word that Columbus City Council was funding a comprehensive soccer program for youth in Wedgewood Village, a low-income complex in the Hilltop area where seven homicides occurred in 2017. The support will allow Abid to hire coaches and assemble an advisory board of prominent officials in the city.

1 / 1

Please reload

bottom of page