Fatima Taj is nothing short of a rising star in Dearborn, MI. The recent high school graduate has already made a name for herself through prolific involvement in her community. As president of her high school’s Art Club, she worked with her fellow peers to beautify their learning environment by doing such projects as painting murals. But her leadership did not end there. She was also president of the Book Club, and she starred for her school’s tennis team. In addition to all her other activities, Fatima was a fundamental player in CAAP’s Teen Grantmaking Initiative (TGI).

Reflecting on her three years in the TGI program, Fatima says, “I think I took a lot of things from TGI, but one of the biggest things is the importance of community. And whether that’s in the group or the community at large, I think it’s really important to work as a team to get things done. Because, even though you may just be one person, you are a part of a bigger whole.”

“You play an important role in everything that you do in TGI. You might be asking an impact partner to make a donation and you might think, ‘Oh that’s just a small part of it,’ but every single member is asking for a donation so, all of those donations together allow us to give to nonprofits and enact change in our community. I feel like the biggest thing I’ve learned from TGI is the importance of teamwork and the importance of community.” 

Despite her many successes, things don’t always work out as planned for Fatima. However, she tries her best to treat failures as learning experiences, rather than letting them discourage her.

“I cherish the failures that I grow from,” says Fatima.

She credits her faith with keeping her grounded and motivated even when things get hard. And despite the long list of achievements and accomplishments she has racked up in her young life, she continues to stay humble and not let success get to her head.

Fatima will be attending Harvard University in the fall and while she does not yet know which career she wants to pursue, she has deep interest in both medical and environmental research. “I want to do research that benefits the community. I do know that giving back will be a big part of my life in the future. Whether it’s like how we did in TGI or some other way, I definitely do plan on giving back in the future.”

Keep an eye on Fatima Taj. We are sure you will be hearing that name a lot in the future.

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