BY JON CRONIN
Mohammed Hakim, a South Ozone Park resident and doctoral candidate in psychology is one of Community Board 10’s newest members.
Hakim, 55, has been civically involved in the community for many years. He volunteers with the Islamic Research and Dawah Center on Autumn Street in Brooklyn. “It’s a humanitarian organization,” explained Hakim. He noted that he also volunteers for several other interfaith Islamic organizations.
Recently, Hakim was talking to a friend Mohammad Hack, who is an Asian American liaison for the Queens Borough President’s office. During a conversation about local civics, Hack recommended to Hakim that he could serve his locality better if he were on the community board.
Hakim said he is concerned with transportation and traffic issues. He said that within his neighborhood around Foch Street in the past few years there have been some car thefts and his neighbors have become concerned.
“The streets are not being taken care of. We’re getting secondary attention,” he said of the pothole laden streets in his neighborhood. “If I engage at the board level, I can have a voice that will engage the community in a more structured way.”
“I feel that we can do better,” he said.
Hakim is also in the process of organizing a block association and getting accredidation from the Borough President’s office. “We’re hoping to get it whatever level is needed to get things done. We’re gonna do what we have to in terms of getting the right people’s attention.”
Before Hakim was a civic minded husband of 20 years and father of three, he was an immigrant who came to the U.S. 35 years ago from Guyana to seek a better educational system. But after he got here, work and life got in the way, he said. For some time he owned a 99 cent store on Fulton Street in Cypress Hill, Brooklyn.
Today he manages rental properties that he owns and focuses on his studies as a doctoral candidate for psychology at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. Many of his classes are online, but he is required to participate in three residencies per year on campus.
He received his Bachelors degree in Psychology and English in 2011 from Queens College.
“Right now, I’m focusing on getting this done, cause at my age this is not an easy task,” he said of his doctoral work.
Once he is done he will put his efforts towards social research and the digital age. “I’m interested in how much we have surrendered to the electronic age, the effect I feel will be negative in the end. I’ve done a lot of research in this area already,” said Hakim.
He is concerned about, “How much this disenfranchises the young and their thinking process. The effect won’t be for years to come, but already we’ve seen signs.”
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin