Together We Can

Train the next generation of activists, organizers and grassroots leaders


Partnering to build a world where our youth can lead change

Founded by Mussab Ali – Americas youngest elected Muslim, 2017 Truman Scholar, 2020 Schwarzman Scholar, and Harvard Law Graduate – and Abeera Saeed – Yale graduate, youth activist, and current analyst at Propel – Ali Leadership Institute aims to train the next generation of urban based youth leaders. By offering students an in and outside classroom space where they can explore new opportunities and learn about their worth and power at a young age, they will be able to flourish in leadership positions as they grow older instead of shying away from the challenges that come with leading an initiative. 

This institute will work to both address a lack of leadership opportunities for urban youth but also get them involved in the civic engagement process. Our purpose here is to introduce students to the idea that their voices matter, regardless of their age, and that they should use their voice to engage in political campaigns and issues.


We create leaders

Our goal is to train the group of individuals who have historically been responsible for change: young people.

It was students who sat-in at a “white’s only” lunch counters and started a movement that contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It was students who led the Sowetu Uprising that led to the end of the apartheid in South Africa. And we firmly believe that students and members of our generation will help to change our country for the better.

Unfortunately, public engagement is at an all-time low among youth in urban areas and civic knowledge is quickly declining.

According to a 2016 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center and The Center of Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, public trust of the government is 18%  and only 31% of 18-21 year olds voted in the 2018 midterm election.

We find that children are deprived of the knowledge on how to be a functioning leader in society which shows in their career and college aspirations.

Without education, students lack the confidence and leadership qualities that come with being civically engaged. This leads to students that are poor in terms of income and social status to shy away from taking on leadership opportunities as compared to those who have more resources available to help them succeed.

This cycle of the lower class stepping down from or avoiding leadership positions altogether helps the rich get richer and the poor get poorer which leads to a class divide and, ultimately, controversy.


— We Find

We look for a select group of 16-22 year old urban, committed youth that show a passion for civic engagement and are interested in impacting their communities.

We believe there are too many students with leadership potential who shy away from opportunities because they either don’t have the skills or are unsure if they will be able to develop them. 


— We Build

Our unique team of diversely talented leaders, mentors students and teaches key leadership skills such as public speaking, time management, teamwork and personal development.

We connect students with experienced public speakers and politicians to help educate students about what’s happening in the world around them.


— We Strengthen

We believe that to be a truly great leader, one has to be educated in thought, speech, and feeling and that is what all of our tasks will go towards teaching.

Post-graduation, we continue to provide resources in helping students fulfill their capstone project so they can see their visions come to life.

Members of our program have gone on to enroll at harvard, yale, princeton, columbia, upenn, rutgers, NYU!

Our Team

Summer Intern

Jules Sanders


Jules Sanders, who will be working as an intern for the Ali Leadership Institute this summer, is a student at John L. Miller Great Neck North High School in Great Neck, New York. Jules has worked with numerous local advocacy groups to fight for change in his community, canvassing for political campaigns and speaking at anti-hate rallies. During the school year, he leads a quiz bowl team that won the Long Island championships, is editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, Guide Post, and organizes conferences as secretary-general of the Model United Nations club. In his free time, Jules writes, and he won the First Class designation for the NCTE Achievement Awards in 2023. He also studies political science, history, and the classics.

Director of Outreach

Allison Nguyen

Rutgers Honors College student at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. She was part of the inaugural cohort of the Ali Leadership Institute. Passionate about making healthcare more accessible to underserved populations. She strives to serve as a representative for her community’s youth.

Program Director

Mohammad Mansour

Junior at CUNY, majoring in Biology with a minor in Project Management. Passionate about leadership and helping youth develop leadership qualities. Working with national organizations on civic engagement within our communities through the ALI Leadership Platform.

Director of Social Media

Umar Farooq

Self-taught visual communication expert.  Passionate about solving problems through the power of design. Always in pursuit of creating beautiful user experiences. Working on empowering the leaders of tomorrow with ALI Leadership through clear communication  and social media.

Director of Curriculum

Adrian Ghainda

Current graduate student at New York University, studying International Relations. He was part of the ALI Institute’s first cohort. Aims to help mold a program that the next generation of civic leaders and activists can use to help accomplish positive political growth in their communities.



Mussab is the youngest elected Muslim in America.

Mussab was recently reelected by a record margin garnering over 22,000 votes citywide. In this position, he serves as the chair of the Facilities Committee, Technology Committee, as well as the Transportation, Safety, & Security Committee…

Abeera is a well respected youth activist.

Born in Lahore, Pakistan to a family who deeply values education, Abeera earned a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University….


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