Article by Bilan Yakoub

As a young student coming of age at New Albany High School, I needed an inspiration to push me to become a contributing citizen in my community.

I was different from most of my peers and the broader community. I saw the world through the lens of a young, Muslim and black American girl born to immigrant parents.

The push of the conflicting narratives in politics and public discourse in this age of hyperpartisanship and polarization away from public service was strong. I wasn’t immune to the disillusionment young people feel. Plus I felt “othered” in almost every aspect of my daily life. After all, I am a child of refugees.

But attending the Jefferson Series events gave me a different worldview.

Although my hometown, New Albany, is not the most diverse city in central Ohio, I began to realize during my freshman year that my city was unique in its efforts to cultivate leadership among youth, create global exposure and awareness and build the bridges to a brighter future…Read the whole article at