For Moroccan-born activist Samia Taoulost-Malik, selflessness runs in the family.
The Taoulost family left Morocco when she was young because her brother was born with Down Syndrome.
“[People with] Down Syndrome are ostracized in Morocco due to a lack of education,” said Taoulost-Malik, who is pursing a master’s degree in international administration at UM.
Ever since, her mother’s bold decision has inspired Taoulost-Malik to give back to her community. She was recently named a StartingBloc fellow. StartingBloc is an organization that helps social entrepreneurs solve global problems. Taoulost is best known for her work as a program manager at ReServe Miami.
“I am always amazed how she takes her work in strides,” said Dacia Steiner, a program director at ReServe Miami.
ReServe Miami is a national program designed to match continuing professionals with non-profit organizations that are in need of their skills. Taoulost-Malik works with “ReServists,” or program participants, to help them apply their lifetime experience to an organization that needs their expertise while acting as an asset to the community.
“I had one of the ReServists tell me that he was sitting at home waiting day after day to die,” she said. “I think ReServe gave him a purpose in his life knowing that he could contribute his skills made him feel productive.”
After she graduates, Taoulost-Malik hopes to help children with developmental disabilities start businesses.
Editor’s note: This story was edited on March 30, 2:15 p.m.