Muslim American Society – Social Services Foundation

Our Mission

Muslim American Society-Social Services Foundation is a non-profit that aims to aid families at large and the Muslim community in particular with their social services needs.

Our Vision

The Muslim American Society-Social Services Foundation strives to be at the forefront of the community’s social services needs and to support the community in attaining the overall well-being of individuals and families.

Meet Our Team

Executive Director

Gulshan Yusufzai

Gulshan’s experience as a refugee from Afghanistan and multicultural exposure was brought about by living in three different countries during her early years. Her early childhood was interrupted by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent displacement of her family as refugees to Pakistan. She came to the United States as a nine-year-old and stayed in New York for a brief period before settling in Sacramento, California. She finished her high school in Sacramento before going to the University of California, Davis to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government.

It came relatively natural to Gulshan to develop an interest in issues related to community development and social services catering to different underserved groups in the society. To this end, in 2004-2008 she worked for the California Institute for Mental Health, a non-profit specializing in mental health services through training, technical assistance, research, and policy development. In 2009-2012, she was the Deputy Director of the California Network of Mental Health Clients, a statewide non-profit focusing on advocacy and program development for the mental health client/consumer community.

In October 2013, she joined MAS-SSF as an Executive Director. She hopes to increase the representation of the underserved groups in the local Muslim community and enable more resource allocation at the state and federal level as well as within local communities to meet their needs.

Bookkeeper

Debbie Mejia

Debbie was born and raised in San Jose, CA. She graduated from West Valley College with an A.A. in Business while working full-time. Debbie worked in the Accounting field for 9 years with manufacturing companies, law firms and a broker. After having her son, she decided to become a full-time mother and her family moved to Sacramento. Eight years later, she decided it was time to return to the work force and became an independent consultant. She has worked with many Nonprofits in the last 4 years, maintaining their books. Debbie joined MAS-SSF in October of 2018 as a Bookkeeper. She now resides in Roseville with her family and two cats. She enjoys traveling and photography.
Program Manager

Uzma Hashmi

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein Uzma Hashmi is a new addition to MAS-SSF as Program Manager, she is in community service internationally since 2008 while doing her MS in Public Administration, from California State University Los Angeles and Certificate in Public Management from USC with the major in Nonprofit and Health Administration. Her passion lies with the predicament of refugees, Immigrants, seniors, and issues related to their settlement and isolation in a new country. She believes that helping people is the opportunity for those who are blessed, and enlightened. Her values are very mush aligned with MAS-SSF vision. She believes in these golden words by two philanthropists and Community Leaders, “No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.” Warsan Shire And “It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks.” Dina Nayeri.
Lead Peer Councelor

Shaista Najmi Jaffri

Shaista Najmi Jaffri joined MAS-SSF on January 2019. She holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Karachi University. She has served as a peer counselor for MAS-SSF since 2007 and is a member of the MAS-SSF Evaluation Committee. She was a CMMC (California MHSA Multicultural Coalition) Emerging Leader and led a mental health awareness project for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). She has previously worked in education and has previously volunteered with Friendly Visitors and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).

She recalls informally serving as a counselor to family and friends since a young age and considers counseling to be one of her greatest passions in life. Her hobbies include knitting, sewing, reading, music, and following current events. She has resided in the Sacramento area for over 25 years. She is fluent in Urdu/Hindi and Sindhi and has working proficiency in Punjabi.

Outreach & Resource Coordinator

Christina Aguilar

Christina Aguilar joined MAS-SSF in January 2020 and has played quite a few roles within MAS-SSF including managing all youth programs and as an Outreach Coordinator. She is Colombian-American with a BA in Psychology and is a certified Peer Specialist. As a passionate advocate, Christina is working to normalize discussions around mental health through each of her roles. She also developed short documentary in undergrad called “Let’s Talk about Mental Health: A Look into Suicide Prevention” highlighting everyday mental health struggles, and the importance of seeking help in order to reduce stigma surrounding this topic. She believes the most important skill we can develop is empathetic/active listening. Her favorite form of self care is hiking, painting and gardening.
IT Specialist

Sihem Tlili

Sihem Tlili received her Computer science engineering degree from ENSI Tunisia. Worked as a software engineer with Alcatel and Motorola in Tunisia and Canada respectively. Taught Computer classes to K-10th grade students at the Arizona Cultural Academy. Received a Montessori teaching License and taught and managed two classrooms at the Good tree Institute of Arizona.

Sihem moved to California in 2014, where she acted as a girl scout leader and cookie manager, studied Microsoft Server Management, and worked in technical support with several companies before joining MAS-SSF as the IT specialist and admin for the Covid program. Sihem is a proud wife and mother of four.

Intake Coordinator

Leena Gela Man

Leena Gela Man joined MAS-SSF on January 2019. She is ethically and originally from Afghanistan. She has a bachelor’s degree as a chemical engineer. She has taught as a professor at the Kabul Polytechnic University.

She has lived in the United States for 4 years. She is a campaigner of preventing violence against women along many other small jobs. She has always had the aspiration to help underprivileged women. She has personal experience to this end being raised around in an environment in Afghanistan and always wanted to help women to stand on their own and gain independence.

Leena looks forward to working at MAS-SSF to fulfil her dream of helping people with adversities.

Administrative Assistant

Basit Choudhary

Basit joined MAS-SSF as an Administrative Assistant in Nov. 2020. He is a Pakistani-American; born in the Bay Area and now living in Elk Grove. Basit graduated from CSU Sacramento in 2020 with a BA in Biological Sciences. Basit has served his school and community since 2012. From high school, he has been frequently donating his O+ blood to help save lives. He was part of a volunteer club and was an active member of Muslim Students Association (MSA). Basit later served as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President of MSAs he served in college & university. He has also been a youth leader at his Islamic center, MCYC, since 2016. He served as Youth Coordinator, part-time Janitor and Admin Assistant, led Friday sermons, planned events, emceed, facilitated classes, designed flyers, and managed the youth social media. Basit strives to support his community through MAS-SSF services and by advocating for mental wellness and youth empowerment.
Program Coordinator

Masoud Saqib

Masoud Saqib was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. He received his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in 2002 from Balkh University in Afghanistan. Mr. Saqib has 20 years of increasingly responsible professional experience with private companies, international NGOs, United Nations agencies and the United Nations Department of Peace Keeping Operations in post conflict, unstable and rural areas mostly in Afghanistan and Sudan. During his professional working experience Mr. Saqib has traveled and worked in more than 15 countries and had the privilege of working with more than 50 nationalities. Mr. Saqib can speak 5 languages including English, Pashto, Urdu, Arabic and Farsi/Dari (native language)
His extensive experience ranges from humanitarian and development efforts, organizational management and leadership, capacity development and business coaching, project, and program management as well as monitoring, evaluation, analyzing and results measurements. His professional experience also included maintaining good working relations and dialogue with donors by collaborating with partners, community, civil society groups, institutions, and local authorities. This was accomplished through confidence building, problem solving, planning, coordination, mentoring, and excellent communication to varied audiences during formal public speaking.
Mr. Masoud Saqib migrated to the United States of America in November 2019. He started his professional career during the COVID-19 pandemic by joining MAS-SSF in April 2021 as a Program Coordinator. He wishes to be an active member of MAS-SSF family providing wellness and mental health services “Saving Lives and Keeping Families Together”

Our Board

Tamer Ahmed
President
Nassiba Cherif, MFT
Vice President
Maha Ead
Secretary
Anjum Keval
Treasurer
Sadeeya Zaidi
Member at Large
Laurel Benhamida, Ph.D.
Member at Large

Our Achievements

With the awarded grant and the support and contributions of our community members, we were able to achieve a lot alhamdulillah!
What They’re Saying

MAS-SSF staff are unsung heroes, they work tirelessly to tackle some of the most difficult issues facing our community. MAS-SSF provides vital services that have helped so many families from falling apart.