280. Khadijah Abdullah (President/Founder, RAHMA)

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Khadijah Abdullah founded Reaching All HIV+ Muslims In America (RAHMA) in 2012 while serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Horton’s Kids in Washington, DC. During her service she worked with families in Ward 8 and helped empower them through building partnerships with local organizations. With this she was able to offer families parenting classes, workforce development classes, case management, legal aid and other services. She also set up biweekly HIV testing on site and coordinated HIV education workshops.

Khadijah became very passionate about HIV/AIDS during her senior year of college. At this time, she was working in a hospital and learned that a friend who was a patient had HIV. He was only 19 years old. After this experience, Khadijah started advocating and educating on her college campus. She realized that there were no programs on campus that targeted HIV. Khadijah reached out to various student organizations and the local community to organize the first AIDS Awareness Week on campus. Due to her efforts, Khadijah was recognized by the State of Connecticut for her involvement in Community Service and by her University as well. Khadijah continued on to volunteer at AIDS Project New Haven and organized a team to walk in AIDS Walk New Haven.

After graduating in 2009, Khadijah relocated to Washington, DC and interned at the National Minority AIDS Council. After her internship, she began volunteering in the community. She received the President Obama award for Volunteerism. Khadijah later began work at Islamic Relief USA. During this time, she realized her passion was not sitting behind a desk, but being directly out there in the community serving others.

Khadijah holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University and has dedicated her life to ensuring the well being of others. She resides in the DC area with her family.

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