Summer Leadership Institute

Our Youth

The IAAB Lend a HAND Fellowship program is a joint program created by The HAND Foundation and Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB).  Based on the success of IAAB’s fellowship program and the HAND Foundation’s awards program, both organizations have joined forces to recognize and cultivate a new generation of young Central Asian (Persian-speaking Afghan, Tajik, Uzbek) and Iranian American leaders. 

Through the IAAB Lend a HAND fellowship program, young Central Asian and Iranian American leaders will:

  • Be recognized for outstanding achievement as Fellows
  • Lead their local communities through the development of innovative ideas and implementing public service initiatives as Fellows
  • Receive the necessary skills to implement such initiatives and further develop their leadership skills through participating in Camp Ayandeh or Camp Javan. 

As a part of the IAAB Lend a HAND Fellowship Program, participants will receive the necessary training and tools to develop and implement unique programs serving the needs of their local communities. Fellows will develop and implement programming in their local communities that focus on one of the following areas:

  • Cultural celebrations and holidays
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Civic Participation

Past HAND and IAAB Fellows include:

  • An 11 year old Iranian American who made 800 calls for Obama’s 2008 Campaign
  • Two teenage Youth Commissioners in Los Gatos, CA
  • A Teen involved in San Jose’s Downtown Beautification Project
  • A young photographer who led a documentary photography project focusing on the experiences of Iranian Canadians and was featured in the New York Times 
  • A graduate student who is building the first online forum for Iranian musicians in diaspora  

The IAAB Lend a HAND Fellowship program honors young leaders who have achieved extraordinary acts of service. Such acts may include community service and social entrepreneurship projects and local leadership and educational projects. Preference will be given to leaders who have demonstrated teamwork and collaboration, had to overcome adversity in order to advance their project, and whose project works toward building tolerance and understanding within their local community. 

The IAAB Lend a HAND Fellowship program, inspires, engages, and connects emerging leaders with a unique public service opportunity. Through IAAB Lend a HAND, Central Asian and Iranian American students will have the ability to lead their local communities by developing innovative ideas and implementing public service initiatives. The fellowship program is open to all young Central Asian and Iranian Americans between the ages of 10-22 years old who are already proven leaders within their communities. 

The IAAB Lend a HAND Fellowship program recognizes middle school and high school leaders through its Junior Fellowship program and university students through its HAND Fellowship program