Photo of Sakina Ibrahim, Class of '07

"PVPA provided an introduction to traditional African dance which I was able to draw upon when going to graduate school. I went to Ghana and did research on movement there. I knew what was happening because of taking dance at PVPA first. A lot of the ways I teach include cultural history. Many of those seeds were planted at PVPA, essentially I learned to see to world through the lens of dance (from Jodi Falk and Jen Polins and Catalyst). I don't know if I would have ended up going to college if it were not for Andrea Chakour (School Counselor Department Leader) taking me into her office and saying Okay girl, what are you going to do after you graduate? Because it wasn't a conversation I was having in my house, I am a first generation college graduate. A lot of very powerful seeds were planted at PVPA, building friendships and just feeling that there was a home to go to. Looking forward to returning. I am currently a Professor of Dance at Cal State Long Beach."

Subsequent Higher Ed and Professional journey:

"After high school I attended U of Arts in Philly for my BA. I was in a Hip Hop company in Philly. That was interrupted as I went to graduate school. This is where my love of writing and dance exploded. I wrote a book which got some national acclaim through the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image award. That really helped to open a lot of doors for me: to travel, to teach, to speak and use dance and the performing arts as a tool for youth empowerment.. specifically girls. A lot of the organizations that I have worked with focus on girls empowerment and self esteem development."

Click here to see a short video about Sakina's book!

Click here to hear Sakina talk about her work to EmpowHER girls!