"Amidst all the poverty and oppression, education is my path to success. Education will provide me with the tools I need to empower myself and my community."
Noun is a refugee from Sudan who grew up in Egypt and now lives in City Heights in San Diego, one of the most diverse and immigrant-populated communities in the nation. Her dream is to work for the United Nations as a refugee advocate and policymaker representing Sudanese communities.
Noun has helped more than half a million students in California get application-free nutritious school meals. She provided key testimony to the California Senate to help pass a bill to reduce food deserts. She was also a research assistant with Kitchens for Good, where she built a pilot program that helped distribute culturally relevant hot meals to the community at low cost, with part of the funds going back into supporting small community-owned food businesses.
Recently, Noun became the youngest staff member at the Jewish Family Service, where she is a refugee outreach coordinator. The Breaking Down Barriers program within JFS aims to destigmatize mental health in underserved and diverse communities through culturally relevant educational programs for community members and health care providers.