Community Development Advocate Ragan Oaks
After volunteering with FACETS'
Education and Community Development Program
and graduating from George Mason University, Tijani Musa joined FACETS' staff as the Community Development Advocate for the Ragan Oaks Community. Tijani holds a Bachelor's degree in Global Affairs and is passionate about helping individuals and families living in poverty.
Fairfax County provides a wealth of resources to our neighbors in need of a helping hand, and Tijani assists our program participants in securing the right support, moving them to a brighter future. He also runs an
after-school program which helps students with their homework assignments and projects, in addition to providing case management to adults
What is the best part of working at Ragan Oaks?
My most favorite part of working in this position is seeing the look on a resident's face after helping him or her find solutions to a problem. It's self-fulfilling and self-rewarding to witness these moments over and over. Also, helping a child with their math homework, apply for a scholarship or look up information about a college or university, reminds me of why I decided to work in the human services field. These are the kinds of small scale differences that keep me coming to work knowing that I am contributing to the improvement of someone's life.
What do you find most challenging about your position?
I find challenges relating to financial problems. For example, residents will come to me unsure about how they will pay next month's rent or feed there family. Although we have a system to assist them, it always breaks my heart knowing that individuals and families are struggling each day to make ends meet.
How have volunteers impacted the ECD programs and the residents of Ragan Oaks?
I simply would not be able to do my work without volunteers. With so much going on at the community, it can be a challenge for one person to manage. It would be impossible to reach so many people in need without the extra hands of volunteers. My volunteers are the engine that keeps Ragan Oaks running. I am truly appreciative of their commitment and dedication to making a difference.
Is there anything you wish everyone knew about FACETS and the work we do?
I've heard many people talk about FACETS and the work we do. In that regard, many know about us. For those who are new to the community and may not yet know us, know that FACETS is a community organization that is able to meet the needs of our neighbors because of a collaborative effort. Members of this community believe in what we do and they choose to partner with us to change lives, and provide long-term solutions to the issues we face in the county. It is because of the community's continued support that we are able to do the things we do. We thank everyone for their time, in-kind and financial contributions, and the stories they share with their family and friends about our organization. All of you keep FACETS going.