Laila Ayub – 2017 Recipient

Major: Law
Degree: J.D.
School: American University Washington College of Law in Washington
Sponsor: Kazmi Family



Message to Supporters:

Thanks to individuals like you, students like me are able to work towards goals that ultimately affect our entire community.

 I am entering my second year of law school at American University Washington College of Law this August, where I am a part of our international human rights impact litigation clinic, am an officer for our International Refugee Assistance Project chapter, and volunteer interpret for our legal clinics. I have spent my summer interning at the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project as well as abroad in Geneva for courses in international human rights and labor through my law school. At my internship, I do research and help with direct client work. We provide free legal resources to primarily immigrant workers and work only in cooperation with organizers tackling the same issues here in New York City. My internship is unpaid and I would not otherwise be able to work here this summer if it were not for a grant I earned through my school.

When I was younger, I thought I wanted to go to law school because I was so interested in politics and government, and I felt it was important having grown up as a member of a refugee family to take advantage of the opportunities that came to me. Over time, I’ve come to find an even deeper value in using the tools and resources I learn through my education to connect others to those resources, who are like me but just less well positioned to be connected. I am so thankful that you have been a link in that chain of personal connections that helps to build change from the ground up, by allowing for me to more easily learn those tools.

Thank you for helping me in my journey and allowing me to do my part to reflect the light of our faith wherever my education takes me, and I pray that you are rewarded in both worlds for doing so, along with all those who helped you on your journey.

Bio: Laila Ayub is currently pursuing her J.D. at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in the D.C. suburbs, Laila took advantage of space to voice herself politically at a young age. Campaign organizing provided an outlet for Laila to channel the desire to influence the issues that felt most relevant to her having grown up as the child of Afghan refugees. Seeking out and building community is the norm for Laila, having grown up in an area that was not particularly diverse and for that reason being used to seeing the American Muslim community as a diverse and widespread group. Most drawn to doing on the ground work, Laila has continued to do so in different capacities, working in youth civic education and volunteering to interpret for Spanish speaking legal clients. Laila is spending her summer providing direct legal services in partnership with community organizations that focus on worker’s rights in New York City, where she works primarily with immigrant workers.  At school, Laila is involved in the International Refugee Assistance Project, and a member of the international human rights impact litigation clinic. Outside of school, Laila finds time to connect with others in a different way through freelance and volunteer portrait photography.

 Areas of Interest:
Immigration/Refugee Advocacy, Human Rights, Elections, Criminal Justice Reform

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