Peter Aziz answers 6 questions about his Fellowship experience

Our 2018-2019 Transformative Leaders Fellowship just concluded.  This year the Arab American Civic Council had the pleasure to host Peter Aziz, a second-year Masters Candidate from the Graduate school of Public Policy and Public Administration at  CSULB, as a fellow. 

The Fellowship program, developed and organized nationally by the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) is a leadership development training program designed for Arab American undergraduate juniors or seniors or graduate level college students, or recent graduates.

Prior to his departure, we had a few interview questions to Peter.

AACC: Tell us about your experience with the Arab American Civic Council as a fellow. 

PA: I was actually really excited about being selected for this Fellowship, as I have worked with the organization as a volunteer in the past. I admired the work that was being done by throughout the years as they directly responded to the political climate of much of the current administration and the refugee crisis.

I have always been politically “woke” but wanted to make more of a significant impact in mobilizing my political ability, by raising awareness more effectively for causes that directly affect my community, and the Arab American civic Council did exactly that”

AACC: How has this fellowship helped shape your perspectives of the community?

PA: I was actually really excited about being selected for this Fellowship, as I have worked with the organization as a volunteer in the past. I admired the work that was being done by throughout the years as they directly responded to the political climate of much of the current administration and the refugee crisis.

I have always been politically awake or “woke” as they say, but wanted to make more of a significant impact in mobilizing my political ability, by raising awareness more effectively for causes that directly affect my community, and the Arab American civic Council did exactly that.

AACC: How has this program help advance your career or future endeavors?

Peter while phone banking to encourage voter participation

PA: Being part of the Arab American Civic Council has been incredibly rewarding and the sense of understanding how communities function, the needs, and the impacts of basic interactions amongst community leaders through different types of programming and how this resonates with the diaspora.

For instance, we held a  get out the vote campaign (GOTV), and we were able to reach out to nearly 4,000 Arab/Middle Eastern residents in the Orange County to get them registered or notify them of their voting capabilities. This was one of the most rewarding programming projects we participating because it showed me the importance of mobilizing our community to get them to not just have an opinion in politics, but to also consider voting with that opinion, and to add, It also helped us reach everyone in the unfortunate polarized world because we advocated just on getting registered we didn’t care about political affiliation but simply getting them to vote.

In addition, this was a great catalyst into networking with local elected officials as I hope to work towards this goal in the near future.

AACC: How were your assignments applicable to your master’s program?

PA: The NNAAC Deliverables were two-fold in how beneficial they were. Not only was I able to utilize the knowledge base from NNAAC in the non profit application, but I was also able to directly apply it to my studies in public policy and vise versa, how much of my masters program reflected in much of the materials provided by NNAAC. Not to mention I was able to directly utilize this to start a non-profit with a friend of mine who wanted to utilize similar notions of advocacy we used here at Arab American Civic Council, as well as some of the work we participated in while we were in Washington D.C. for leadership days.

AACC: How do you feel about ending your Fellowship program?

PA: I feel Great! I think I also ended on a really high note, I was able to successfully program a phenomenal service day for the National Arab American Service Day. I feel like that was the most rewarding part of my overall fellowship, and not because it was the end, but because of how much positive feedback I was getting from everyone that participated.

AACC: Is there anything else you wanted to mention?

PA: Thank you to NNAAC and Arab American Civic Council, for trusting me enough to be on this journey, I am thankful for this experience and opportunity to serve with this organization and this community.

Click here to Apply for the upcoming 2019-2020 NNAAC Transformative Leaders Fellowship.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.