1st Successful YPM Competition!

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Muharram 23rd 1431 / Jan 9th 2010
Ellicott City, Maryland

The Seminar

It was a brisk fall day when on October 21, 2009, twenty-one teens met in Laurel, Maryland to attend the first ever Youth Project Management seminar held by the Islamic Leadership Institute of America (ILIA). There, they learned about what constitutes a project, and they also learned about managing the complexities of a scope and about scope, cost, schedule, risk and more. The twenty-one youth leaders came from varied locations; some as far as Herndon, Virigina, and others from Baltimore, Maryland.They spent six hours in a intensive workshop that was a mix of learning, presentation, team activity and project management in practice. Towards the end of the fourth hour, the teens spent 90 minutes developing a high level plan to build a college dorm  and used not only the knowledge they had learned throughout the day to come up with the plan, but also hands-on games and activities to enrich their learning experience.

Towards the closing of the workshop the coaches of the program shared information about the first Youth Project Management competition which was going to be held at Dar Al-Taqwa (DAT) masjid in Ellicott City about two months later.

The Competition

Three teams, ten participants, three judges, two coaches, a motivated teen moderator and an audience went to Dar-al-Taqwa on December 26th, 2009 to experience an afternoon filled with excitement. They watched each team present their long weeks of hard work to build a project that would benefit their communities.

DAT created a team consisting six participants: Nada Elansary, Noha Elansary, Doha Nassar, Yomna Nassar, Razeen Khan, and Soha Hassan. Team Islamic Research & Humanitarian Service Center of America (IRHSCA) had two members: Niyah Hamiliton and Khaila Hamiliton. The last participant was the representative of Dar us-Salaam (DUS), Hannan Hijazi.

Each team presented their project with enthusiasm to three judges, all of whom are experts in project management and have over 65 years of professional project management experience with large scale projects: Shafqat Abbasi, Alpha Bailey, and Mostafiz Choudhary.

While each competitor was eager to know the results after the judges were done calculating the scores, their impatience was released by Mahmoud Aboelrous, one of the two coaches and the driving force behind the program, as he walked up to the stage along with Hamzah Ameen, who was the moderator announcing the winning teams. Team DAT planned out a full detailed construction plan of a full time elementary and middle school. The representative of team DUS made a setup of a food shelter program. Team IRHSCA came up with a newsletter for a masjid. DAT was awarded first place with a monetary award of $120. DUS won second place and received $60. IRHSCA placed third place and was acknowledged with $30. The day ended with each participant receiving an honoring prize.

Br. Abbasi stated during the competition, “I am impressed by the level of detail and the work your team has [completed]”. Sr. Bailey gave a few words of advice to the participants towards the end of the program and reflected her appreciation and admiration for the work presented.

This program is the first of its kind in the Muslim community in the DC metropolitan area, and most probably nation-wide, and was completely funded by ILIA through fees and partially via minimal donations. Although ILIA had approached a leading project management organization to sponsor part of the event, ILIA never received any support. Ayman Nassar, ILIA’s chairman states  “Allhamdulillah, it was a great success despite the extreme limitation in resources and the hurdles facing the program, we were able to have the first youth project management competition for our young Muslim brothers and sisters”.

To bring this program to your local community, or donate to this cause, contact ILIA at info@islamicleadership.org