I’m excited to be incoming as the Director of Youth Programs at First Church in Belmont. It’s been exciting to roll out the youth programs and an ongoing learning process. A bit about me, when I’m not at FCB, I’m pursuing a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. I was born in Manchester, England and moved to the USA when she was sixteen. I hold dual citizenships and was lucky enough to grow up in a Pakistani home with the fortune of learning Urdu, Punjabi, as well as, English. My upbringing inspired my love for traveling. So far I’ve traveled to twenty-seven countries! I also have a Masters degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a Masters in Peace Studies from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan.
I became interested in Unitarian Universalism, after being hired as a Director of Youth Ministry (DYM) in 2009 for the UU Church of Arlington (UUCA), where I was frequently asked the question, “What is a Muslim doing working in a church?”. Everything I have engaged in so far has all been driven by my keen interest in youth ministry and religious education. As a DYM for the UUCA, I was able to infuse my passions by organizing religious education programing, such as an annual Hunger Banquet and an anti-racism CON, which included an overnight component for youth. I am a certified OWL facilitator and also has experience teaching Coming of Age. While at UUCA I co-led an international youth service trip to El Salvador with the River Road UU’s, and locally with UUCA to New York, Arizona and Louisiana to work on immigrant rights, racial justice and healing, and disaster relief. Furthermore, I was hired by the UUA to be a contributing author to, Be the Change!, an anti-racism curriculum for high-school youth that is used nationally by congregations as a starting point for conversations on diversity issues for high-school youth. I have also served on the Youth Ministry Advisory Committee of the UUA from 2012-2014 and on the UUA’s GA Program Development committee for 2016.
My hobbies include salsa dancing and I am a caffeine addict (for all those hours of paper writing and staying up during overnights)!
I’m excited to begin this journey with youth at First Church in Belmont and also to get to know everyone more. I hope to collaborate with the amazing programs and lay leaders in the upcoming years. If you have any ideas for programming or want to learn more about youth programs at FCB please send me an email at email@example.com. 🙂