MDYC Alumni Stories: Meet Yousif

Yousif Yousif. This first and last name jumped off the page when the MDYC professional team reviewed the list of the newest members of the Club. We were sure this was a clerical error on our end. Over the next 16 years, we would witness the growth of a compelling and inspiring individual, Yousif Maizy, who began writing the first chapters in his life on the other side of the world. Yousif’s parents made the decision to risk everything by leaving Iraq for Jordan with the eventual goal of making their way to Detroit, Michigan to make a life for their family.

Arriving at MDYC’s Jack & Patti Salter Club at age six, with a legal name resulting from an error while being processed through the United States Customs & Immigration Service, Yousif’s tenacity, warmth and desire to succeed were impossible to miss. We’ve had the opportunity to witness Yousif develop during his formative years, thrive throughout high school and college and grow into an outstanding leader today.

Yousif immersed himself in MDYC’s programs of Play, Discover and Empower. He participated in the Club’s athletic leagues, educational programs and leadership and community service opportunities. Yousif took what he learned into his community. He transformed the culture of his high school resulting in a more responsive engaged administration that valued diversity in thought. Many of the changes Yousif championed as Class President are still in place today. Yousif and his fellow MDYC Club members drove the response to help those suffering from a series of tornadoes in Henryville, Indiana spending time helping with the clean up and recovery. Yousif also made two trips to help with the recovery from Katrina in New Orleans. As a result of his efforts, Yousif earned a full tuition scholarship through the Club to Marquette University through the Urban Scholars Program.

Today requires leaders that are conscious and awakened to the needs of the day and that are committed to serving the community in meaningful ways. Yousif’s drive to perform at his best and his deep commitment to serving the community are remarkable. We have watched Yousif tackle the challenges that immigrants face when English is a second language. We have also been moved by Yousif’s insight and sensitivity when developing and leading outreach and community service efforts. Yousif is now pursuing his dream of becoming a dentist at Western University in California.

Looking back on his experience at MDYC, Yousif underscores the powerful role the MDYC professional team played in his life. The Club supported Yousif finding his unique voice, allowing him to pursue his dreams while fostering his love for community service.