IAAB Youth
 

We believe that in order to have a positive impact on the world, it starts with our own self-identity, our own self-love and appreciation. We exist to celebrate and encourage Iranian culture and identity, and to build an inclusive and engaged Iranian diaspora dedicated to serving the needs of its own and others. 

Our Vision

IAAB encourages and supports new expressions of Iranian-American identity and leadership in order to build a more cohesive community. IAAB envisions a community in which:

  • every young person feels resolved and empowered in their identity,
  • local communities are proactive and responsive in addressing their own needs,
  • there is an emphasis on volunteerism, civic engagement and philanthropy,
  • alternative fields of study and career paths are supported,
  • a growing pipeline exists of confident and inspiring individuals who play a leadership role in the Iranian and broader community,
  • Iranians feel connected to and collaborate with other diaspora communities and communities of color.
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Who We Are

IAAB hosts the largest network of Iranian-American student leaders and young professionals. Formed in 2003 by students, IAAB is the first Iranian-American organization to create spaces for critical dialogue and reflection.

In 2004, IAAB held the first International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, a groundbreaking program bringing together scholars, leaders, and other key stakeholders to discuss and respond to community challenges.

Learning from successes of other diaspora communities, IAAB quickly recognized the need to tap into the Iranian community's greatest asset: its youth. In 2006, IAAB created an intentional youth space, Camp Ayandeh, that supports emerging high school leaders in their identity formation and provides them with the community and necessary tools to lead the Iranian-American community into the future.

Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan, its sister camp for middle school students, have grown into the largest network of Iranian youth in the world with hundreds of successful student leaders positively impacting virtually every industry including technology, government, not-for-profit, medicine, and academia. 

Our youth are change-makers and inspiring leaders in their communities. Our programs empower members to be more informed about themselves and the world.

For the Iranian diaspora community, IAAB is the leader in supporting a new generation to be active problem-solvers for local and global challenges.

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Our History

The idea for IAAB began in 2003 when two students began talking about what they, as young Iranians in the diaspora, wished for the Iranian-American community. That casual conversation between Narges Bajoghli and Nikoo Paydar grew into IAAB’s first conference, and ultimately the organization we celebrate today. 

After the first conference, some were already describing IAAB as having started a movement. What seemed implausible in 2004 is today truly materializing in the impact IAAB has had in our community. From helping shape an open-minded, communicative Iranian diaspora to getting our youth involved and empowered, IAAB’s progress has exponentially gained momentum over the past decade.

In the history of IAAB there has been an undercurrent of looking outward to what is needed in the community around us, inward at what we can provide that is unique and will have an impact, while pooling together all the resources we can and holding the highest expectations of ourselves to provide the best quality organization possible.

As a community organization led by young people, we often find ourselves facing the challenge of proving ourselves to outsiders that don’t quite know why we are necessary for Iranian Americans or why we would make such sacrifices for a cause. But we continue to demonstrate to our community, donors, friends, other organizations, and the media that our combination of passion, vision, and commitment to quality makes us invaluable for our Iranian diaspora community. 

Being in IAAB is about making an impact and continuing that conversation that started in 2003 about a community vision - one that we work to crystallize and actualize each year.