Ms. Fazana Saleem-Ismail has a spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity. Fazana has single handedly and in a very unique way, made significant impact on her community.

Not only has Fazana contributed so much to the happiness and improvement of the quality of people’s lives in her local community, she is a very kind and charitable woman who leaves a lasting impression on those that she works with!

We feel very privileged to have the opportunity to recognize Fazana on April 23, 2014 at the GOBY Awards for everything she has done, and are excited to see her continued success with whatever endeavor she pursues!

Thank you, Fazana! Congratulations!


Fazana Saleem-Ismail is the founder of Jazzy Sun Birthdays, a project that has been hosting personalized birthday parties for almost 100 children living in local homeless shelters since May 2011. Fazana hails from New York City where she worked for four years as a program officer at the Robin Hood Foundation, which works to alleviate poverty among residents of the five boroughs. Her primary responsibilities included recommending and monitoring grants to food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks and homeless shelters. She also directed a project designed to raise awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit among low-income workers.
In 2005, Fazana received a Community Capacity Builders Award from the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic in recognition of her work at Robin Hood. Later that year, Fazana and her family moved to Sri Lanka to assist with tsunami-rebuilding efforts.
Upon their return to the United States in 2008, the family moved to the Capital Region and Fazana quickly became involved in community activities. She has served as a Parent Services Coordinator and Secretary of the Parent-Teacher Organization of AnNur Islamic School and as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. She is currently active in fundraising efforts for the DC Stars gymnastics team.
Fazana has been working as a Research Scientist/Training Program Evaluator at the Professional Development Program of the Research Foundation of SUNY since 2012, but still considers motherhood her most important job. Fazana’s two children were the inspiration behind Jazzy Sun Birthdays and this project borne from the heart is named after them.

Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

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