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From left: Sagal, Zahra (Community Building Coordinator),
Zahra (volunteer), Kalthum

Three volunteers at CHW Bandar Salaam community accepted to SDSU

Congratulations to volunteers Kalthum, Zahra, and Sagal on their acceptance to San Diego State University! These college-bound seniors have been volunteering at the Bandar Salaam Community Center for two years, tutoring young residents in the Study Stars after-school learning program and coordinating community events. Learn more about these amazing young women and their stories below.


Kalthum, a 13 year resident of Bandar Salaam is volunteering at the same CHW community she has called home for most of her life.

To me, home and community mean an environment that teaches and aids you to become a powerful individual who will later be beneficial to that same home and community. 

Volunteering at her CHW Community Center aided her personal growth, helping her become more confident through her connection with her young students. “I was always shy and withdrawn from everyone until I started tutoring at Bandar Salaam,” she says. “I was able to get to know most of the students and form bonds with them… I have learned from the students I have tutored just as much as they learned from me.”

Her drive to give back to her CHW community as a volunteer tutor is not only an expression of her community ideals, it is a testament to how important education is to her. “I am motivated to pursue a college education because of the sacrifices my parents made just to be able to give us an opportunity to create a better future for ourselves,” she says.

Kalthum recently got accepted to San Diego State University as a Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences major, and plans to continue serving her community in her future career. “I wish to become an audiologist so that I can help people with hearing and lisp problems.”


Zahra is passionate about her education and reading and writing short stories. She serves as role model to both the students she tutors and members of her own family “Out of 10 of my siblings, I am the second oldest, so my younger siblings all look up to me.” Through volunteering at the Community Center, Zahra became a full fledged member of the Bandar Salaam community.

To me, home means comfort, safety, and a place where I know I belong. Community means a safe place filled with familiar faces. Bandar Salaam is my home and community because I grew to love the students I tutored, and be comfortable here. 

With the help of Zahra and other Community Center volunteers, young student residents are able to improve their language skills in and outside of the classroom. “I watched the students grow and flourish,” she says. “Some kids went from not knowing English to constantly speaking it.” For Zahra, the learning went both ways. “Being a volunteer positively impacted me because it taught me how to be patient…I learned everyone has a different pace for learning.” The lessons she learned through volunteering at CHW will be helpful to her in both her major and future career. Zahra will be majoring in Social Work and hopes to work with children.


Sagal is a young leader with a strong commitment to giving back to her community and her family. She recognizes her volunteer experience at the Community Center as crucial to cultivating her leadership skills and showing her how to be an active and engaged member of her community.

The Bandar Salaam community has helped me grow as a leader. When I first started, I was shy…Bandar has helped me reach out to my community and be an active part of it. I felt as though I really made an impact.

Sagal is passionate about education for herself and others. While volunteer tutoring at Bandar Salaam to help her students progress in school, Sagal’s own academic success is a particular source of pride and joy for her. “I love to learn new things… I am most proud of my academic achievements.” Her drive for education is inspired by her parents and how they’ve supported her and her academic pursuits her whole life. “I saw how my parents struggled financially and how they wanted me to have a better life,” she says. “When I was a kid, they pushed me to do well in school. I hope through a college education, I will be able to support my parents the way they supported me.”

Sagal will be majoring in social work, and also plans to continue serving her community with her education. “I hope to have a career where I help refugees and immigrants adjust to their new surroundings.”

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