Abrar Omeish is an activist fighting for changes in the public school system: 'I’m fighting for kids and fighting for opportunity'

Emerald Pellot
·2 min read

Abrar Omeish is the first Libyan-American elected official in the U.S., one of the first Muslim women elected in Virginia and the youngest ever in her role.

The 26-year-old activist is taking on education in the public school system. As a Fairfax County School Board Member-At-Large, she is determined to make Virginia’s schools more equitable and inclusive.

“This is the best county to live in, but for who?” Omeish asked In The Know. “Your opportunities depend on your walk of life that you’ve had in this community. It’s home but it’s definitely a place with many challenges that I look to as opportunities to set a model for the rest of the country as to what we can do and how we can do better for everyone.”

Omeish wanted to set a new standard for public servants by staying true to her platform even after she got in office. Her plan included increasing parent liaisons (school staff who do outreach with parents), helping homeless students and addressing poverty.

“Ensuring that every child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential, no matter where they are, no matter who they are or what language they speak, etc,” she said. “Our public school system is where kids start their chance at life. And the role that education plays in the broader American dream. If we’re not offering that on the most basic level, then I have to bridge that inconsistency. So far as I’m continuing to push for that on the school board, I’ll be here.”

The board member has a full plate ahead. While in office she also works at a nonprofit and attends graduate school at Georgetown University where she studies public policy.

“My mission is to make sure I’m fighting for kids and fighting for opportunity and I’m making sure we live in a community that’s a place anyone can succeed,” Omeish said.

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