COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: As president and executive director of the Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corporation, Isa Abdur-Rahman works to improve the boulevard’s image in the borough. “Our efforts are to revitalize Farmers Boulevard into a convenient, vibrant and inspiring main street for all of our residents,” he said. The organization is four years old. Abdur-Rahman has held his current position from the start and calls on his experience as a real estate lawyer to focus on revitalizing underutilized store fronts.
BACKGROUND: In addition to his work with the Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corporation, Abdur-Rahman is a self-employed attorney specializing in real estate law based in Jamaica, where he and his family live. He is also an adjunct professor of business and economics at York College.
INSPIRATION: Abdur-Rahman was introduced to the organization four years ago, when he met a family running a youth program in the area. After seeing the effect it had on the community, he started to think about ways his expertise in real estate law could help other people. “I thought how I could help them focus on small businesses,” he said.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Every year, Abdur-Rahman says he looks forward to the annual health and wellness fair co-organized by the Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corporation. “It’s an opportunity to see the fruits of your labor,” he said.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Abdur-Rahman said the main challenges for his organization are low funding and a lack of “dedicated volunteers.” While he says the group has been able to accomplish a lot with a little so far, he adds they are still looking for more volunteers to dedicate their time. He says this is a common roadblock for many non-profi ts.
-BY ANTHONY O’REILLY