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All of us at the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) want to extend our congratulations to Fatima Shousher, who recently received a special honor from her hometown of Toledo, OH. Fatima’s family and friends established the Fatima H. Shousher Educational Fund at the Sight Center of Northwest Ohio to provide scholarships for visually impaired students in college. Having lived with a visual impairment herself, Fatima never let that get in the way of achieving her goals, and she has worked with special needs children for almost 30 years.

CAAP recently spoke with Fatima to learn more about her life, work, and charitable endeavors.

CAAP: Mabrook on your recent distinction! Can you tell us a little more about your work?

Fatima Shousher: Thank you! I was so honored to receive the resolution from the Toledo City Council! Former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford saw that the Fund had been established in my name, and knew that I have worked for many years with visually impaired students.

I currently teach at Rogers High School in Toledo, I work with visually impaired students, and students with other special needs, as a resource teacher. I also assist them with the transition from high school to university.

CAAP: Who inspired you to give back and get involved in your community?

FS: My parents along with previous generations of family members were excellent role models and have shaped who I am today. They led by example and taught me the importance of being involved in community activities.

CAAP: What are you looking forward to next?

FS: Retiring! I’ve loved all my years of work, and I am excited to give my time and energy to the community and to travel. I also hope to help build the Fund to grant 1-2 scholarships a year in Northwest Ohio. The Fund will continue to provide scholarships long after my time.

CAAP: What advice would you give to other Arab Americans looking to make a difference?

FS: Find something you are passionate about: an organization, a cause that is important to you and devote your time to it. Stay focused on being a positive role model, overcoming obstacles with determination and not allowing fear to hold you back. Don’t let your limitations define you. Be proud of who you are, recognize your strengths and persevere to make a difference in the lives of others. The possibilities are endless!

If you would like to read about more Arab Americans who care, be sure to check out our blog!

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