Layla Basil is the 2017 recipient of the inaugural Imam Maajid Faheem ‘Ali Leadership in Service Scholarship. A native of Philadelphia, PA, Layla is the youngest child of Hashim and Aliya Basil, both born and raised in Philadelphia as well. Her father serves as a officer of the Philadelphia Police Department, and her mother owns a childcare facility in West Philadelphia. As the youngest of five brothers and two sisters, Layla has fond memories of being raised in a Muslim household. Her family enjoyed camping out on the football field watching the boys play from little league to college, while the girls enjoyed ballet, and everyone had to attend Islamic Studies classes!
Along with hard work and the importance of strong family ties, Layla’s parents proudly set Islam and the pursuit of education as high priorities for their children. She and her siblings were encouraged and motivated to excel both academically and socially, by developing a harmonious balance of the two.
Layla is a 2017 graduate from the elite scholars of Central High School of Philadelphia class #276. Through her tireless devotion to her academics she received a scholarship to Temple University. During her freshman year, she is exploring various paths and weighing her options in the pursuit of a degree in the medical field. Currently, she is interested in a career serving as a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant.
Prior to her enrollment at Temple University, Layla participated in different programs to increase her opportunities for growth, as well as, exposure to, and interaction with a diverse set of individuals. She served as
the Youth Committee President of the Islamic Heritage Foundation (IHF) from 2014- 2017. She has served as a speaker at The School District of Philadelphia, notably on behalf of Muslim public-school student’s right to have Islamic holidays included on the annual public school academic calendar. Layla also volunteers with community-based organizations that mentor Muslim girls.
Pleasant, polite, intelligent, and focused, are all terms people typically use to refer to Layla after an encounter with her. Although she is the ‘baby’ of the family; ‘mature’ is the word that is used most often. Layla’s caring attitude has been consistent as she continues to navigate adulthood. A dedicated and hard worker, she tries to make the best of any family or community obstacles. She is independent, responsible, and relentless in pursuing her dreams. She has a very solid moral compass, and does not shy away from identifying and expressing herself as the multifaceted person she is – an African American Muslim woman.