Community Leadership Alumni

Surviving Life’s Unexpected Turns

Hirah Mir

Guided by the strong determination and bold vision of our student leaders, Welfare Rights Initiative demonstrates how personal setbacks can become effective tools for self-advocacy and promoting greater social awareness. Consider Hirah Mir’s story. Born to a Pakistani family who won the green card lottery, she grew up believing in the promise of America. When her parents separated, a once stable family was suddenly thrown off course and into financial turmoil.

With limited education and a disability, Hirah’s mother had few options for survival. She moved the family to a homeless shelter for a while. Eventually, they applied for welfare to secure better housing, food and the basic essentials they could no longer afford without a steady income. Hirah recalls:

“Everything changed. I knew we were on welfare, but we didn’t talk openly about it. My mother shielded me from most of what she had to do to maintain our benefits.”

Always a good student, Hirah slowly adjusted to the new normal and focused on her studies. She was determined to become the first in her family to attend college in the United States.

“I was thrilled to be accepted at Hunter College! Even though my family still struggled, it gave me hope for the future. Just before my first semester, a counselor referred me to Welfare Rights Initiative to arrange an internship as a way of building my résumé. I felt like things were finally looking up for me. Shortly after I turned 18, my life took another unexpected turn.”

No longer a minor, Hirah received an official letter that would trigger her first direct encounter with the welfare system. The authorities called her in to be fingerprinted and to review her case. As an adult, she was now subject to the 35-hour weekly workfare requirement. The caseworkers informed her she would have to postpone her enrollment at Hunter because the courses and the internship wouldn’t count. Sadly, this academically gifted student was days away from abandoning her college dreams to report for duty picking up garbage with the city’s sanitation department.

“It was heartbreaking. I hadn’t started classes yet. I remembered what WRI’s staff told me during my internship interview about the federal regulations and approved workfare activities. I knew something was wrong, but I was too scared to speak up for fear they would take away my family’s benefits. Thank goodness WRI was there to guide me through the hearings and appointments and help me fill out forms. They even spoke to my mom. Without their help, I’m not sure what would have happened.”

With WRI by her side, Hirah started college as originally planned. She became an honors student, graduating with a 3.9 GPA and a degree in psychology. She credits WRI’s Community Leadership and Internship Program for awakening her passion for advocating on behalf of others in need.

“WRI exists to help patch the cracks in the NYC safety net. They help students like me deal with the complexity and logistics that come with the territory of accessing public assistance. More importantly, the program offered me leadership and organizing skills that will carry me through life. My time as a youth organizer made me more confident in my abilities and inspired me to continue my educational journey.”

Today, this enterprising young woman is a doctoral student in educational psychology and methodology at SUNY Albany. No longer on welfare, Hirah is on her way to a tenure-track faculty position. Her research is exploring how to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged and minority populations. She remains active with WRI as a mentor and by sharing her personal testimony in a variety of public forums to encourage more effective policies.

 

34 Responses to Community Leadership Alumni

  1. marcphilippTex says:

    marc marc marc
    marc marc marc
    marc marc marc
    marc marc marc

  2. Just wanted to say thank you!

  3. walnutsLoxia says:

    walnuts walnuts walnuts walnuts walnuts walnuts walnuts walnuts

  4. marcphilippExcek says:

    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp
    marc philipp

  5. AndrewMiruh says:

    Awesome personality of expression. Look after it up!

  6. PKKTerrorPateHuchTrows says:

    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch
    tobias huch

  7. You saved me so much time greatful I found your website.

  8. It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people for this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  9. xnetinfo says:

    X-Net – анонимная P2P социальная сеть на базе tor,
    с открытым исходным кодом.

    Клиент сети содержит месенджер, форумы, чаты, файлобмен,
    бэкапы, финансы, вебсервер, api и другие сервисы.

    X-Net предлагает реально анонимное и шифрованное общение.
    Все ваши данные хранятся в базе клиента hsqldb,
    которая поддерживает шифрование данных.
    Сообщения шифруются e2e средствами тора.

    Поскольку проект некоммерческий, реализуется анонимной группой
    энтузиастов на собственные средства, и предназначен для
    независимого конструктивного обсуждения политических тем,
    обсуждение которых невозможно ни в каком неанонимном сми –
    мы не имеем возможности привлечь инвесторов для обеспечения
    продвижения, и никакие средства массовой информации
    не принимают наши анонсы.

    Поэтому мы вынуждены использовать массовую рассылку,
    чтобы сообщить о существовании этого проекта.

    Еще есть время собраться и решить что делать,
    пока нас всех окончательно не закрыли по клеткам,
    “в целях предотвращения и для нашей же безопасности”.

    Клиента сети можно скачать отсюда: xnet.info,
    или, лучше, по тор адресам: xnetinfo2ug7eno7.onion
    xnetinfo47trbbbg.onion xnetinfo7zanu44i.onion

    Там же инструкции по установке, описание работы сети,
    и новостная лента.

    Благодарим за внимание.
    Будьте здоровы!

  10. Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  11. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

  12. I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s articles or reviews daily along with a mug of coffee.

  13. You saved me so much time greatful I found your site.

  14. SMS says:

    bookmarked!!, I like your blog!

  15. only g says:

    I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should
    also go to see this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated
    from most recent news update.

  16. g people says:

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    But just imagine if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your posts more,
    “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this
    blog could certainly be one of the best in its niche.
    Superb blog!

  17. g there says:

    Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same
    layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  18. Martindag says:

    It is very nice to read your site, thank you very much for your work, it’s great!

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site.
    You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some articles for your blog in exchange
    for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested.
    Thanks!

  20. I am interested in more information. How can I contact you?

  21. tinyurl.com says:

    Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog
    world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

  22. Awesome website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of community
    where I can get comments from other experienced people that
    share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Many thanks!

  23. tinyurl.com says:

    Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a
    team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a
    community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable
    information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  24. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective.

    A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance.

    I must say that you’ve done a excellent job with this.

    In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Internet explorer.
    Superb Blog!

  25. kik nude says:

    Very useful info thank.

  26. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on web hosting
    providers. Regards

  27. I am extremely impressed with your writing abilities and also with
    the structure on your weblog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice high quality writing, it’s rare
    to see a great weblog like this one today..

  28. you’re in point of fact a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible.
    It sort of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick.

    In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a fantastic task in this topic!

  29. I value the blog article. Want more.

  30. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
    from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple
    tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me
    know where you got your design. Kudos

  31. This is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate info… Thank you for
    sharing this one. A must read article!

  32. RobertAnnen says:

    view it [url=https://hydrazerkalo2020.com]гидра[/url]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.