LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Fatihah Abdur-Rahman

Position: Principal
School: Forest Hill Elementary School
School District: Camden City School District
City, State: Camden, NJ

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Music that Describes Fatihah

Fatihah Abdur-Rahman was nominated by an anonymous friend.

Principal Abdur-Rahman is one of those special people who has a natural “light” that brings joy and love to anyone who is lucky enough to be near her. She doesn’t wait for people to approach her; she is on a mission to spread her love and message of empowerment through her job as an elementary school principal and through her organization “iServe."

"Fatihah is extraordinary," explains her friend. "Despite raising two beautiful girls as a teenage mother and experiencing homelessness, she found ways to go to college to become an educator. Her drive to help others, especially children, was just that strong. Her vision is very much based on her own experience of hard work, motivation, and gratitude. Now, as an elementary school principal, Fatihah brings her special gifts to an entire community of classrooms and families in Camden, NJ."

Ms. Abdur-Rahman created iServe to assist children all over Camden County and the surrounding areas. Through iServe, she has assembled and distributed over 1,000 Calming Bags to help children self-regulate their emotions as they navigate through challenges and trauma, especially during this difficult past year. While schools in Camden were closed, she ran a weekly "Reading in the Park" program, inviting children to listen and participate as she read books and gave out treats, Calming Bags, and books to take home.

She finds all sorts of ways to bring her iServe mission to school, such as by sharing empowerment messages and programs, as well as promoting community involvement. Her motto is L.O.V.E. – “Living On Village Energy." Everything she does and every interaction she has is with the goal of bringing joy, a love of learning, and self-worth to her students. One must not forget to mention the food bank, book, holiday, and water ice distribution parties for school families!

As the Forest Hill Elementary School principal, Ms. Abdur-Rahman has created a mentoring group for girls called “PEARLS" (Positive, Elegant, Attractive, Radiant, Leaders.) The purpose of the PEARL mentoring program is to help "PEARLgirls" to find their voice, discover their inner strength, and see themselves as the valuable pearls that they are. You will never find Ms. Abdur-Rahman without her “pearls of wisdom” around her neck.

When students weren't learning in-person, Ms. Abdur-Rahman brought her weekly program called “Harambee” to the virtual school community. Harambee means “to pull together." This end-of-week program, held during the school day, engaged the children and school staff with student accolades, messages of encouragement from community members, cheers, songs, and as always, a lot of love! It's always wonderful, but it was especially meaningful when the children were isolated from their beloved school community. The love that Ms. Abdur-Rahman brings to everything she does with the students makes her a rockstar in their eyes.

"To watch Fatihah and the children interact with each other is such an honor," said her friend. "The children are always so happy to see her as she exudes true joy in their presence. She doesn’t let a child walk away without taking a selfie with them, because they are that important."

"Fatihah is certainly one of my Sheroes. She is an unstoppable force for good," said her friend. "She has defied odds to become a leader, both in the community and in her school. Fatihah sets the example for her teachers and staff to approach each day with joy and love, and that spreads to the children.  She is an enormous influence on everyone she encounters and she is an incredible LifeChanger, especially for children."

Comments (25)

Timothy Miles Posted over a year ago

You are the Greatest teacher and Principle with an overwhelming love for tour profession of caring and compassion for tour students. And I adore you for this as I see and feel this all over your Facebook page. Wish I knew you personally, because you deserve the world, and everything in it???? with love.

Becky Posted over a year ago

Congratulations and good luck!!

Mika Posted over a year ago


Emile Parker Posted over a year ago

Congrats Fatihah! Well deserved. Continue representing your Oakwood with providing excellent leadership and innovation of teaching in some of our challenged communities. You make us proud.

Ariel S. Posted over a year ago

#LCOY Congratulations!! You and your school are so deserving! You are an inspiration and a gem to the community and beyond!

Karl Rogers Posted over a year ago

Congratulations your are inspiring force that's well needed. Keep up the awesome job. Let your miraculous light shine.

Judy J Posted over a year ago

Congratulations and best wishes.... You are a phenomenal leader and awesome motivator!

Paula Blackwell Posted over a year ago

She is wonderful example of excellence. SHe is a tremendous educator.

Krysten Copeland Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on being nominated for the #LCOY award! In reading your bio, I'm confident it's well deserved. Best wishes from a fellow Oakwood alumna!

Keli Posted over a year ago

This is phenomenal! Congratulations on the #LCOY nomination.

LaShaunda Posted over a year ago

#LCOY You are awesome and really cared for the community as a whole. I hope you win.

Wanda Jackson Posted over a year ago

Congratulations I'm rooting for you and your school

Kennee Moore Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on your nomination for #LCOY!!! Your Alma mater stands with you!

Nancy Posted over a year ago

A phenomenal, authentic school leader who has influenced the underserved to strive for academic excellence. She’s an extremely hard worker who’s passionate about urban education. Fatihah is a true educator who fills any room with education, love and light!

Clifton J McMillan, Sr Posted over a year ago

Principal Rahman is a phenomenal radiant educator, leader, a shining light in her community and a role model for our nation.

Taja Morris Posted over a year ago

Fatimah has dedicated her life to service and providing a better way for our youth and communities.

Kahlia High Posted over a year ago

This is not anything knew as Fatihah has always been this amazing. I met her years ago and knew right away that there was something special and unique about her.

Henry O. Davis Jr Posted over a year ago

Principal Fatihah Abdur-Rahman, is a one of the most vibrant inspiring Headmaster of Academia that I have ever gotten to know. She has such a passion for her students and staff success that is highly commendable. Her commitment and determination in excellence is splendid. And most of all is her infectious way of passing on to others her fortitude, perseverance, persistence and spirit only breeds in others success. I highly recommend her as the life changer of the year.

Tobias Cortez Posted over a year ago

This energetic, intelligent, outgoing lady has displayed time and time again what it means to see life through the heart of your determination. She constantly reminds us through many of her platforms, to strive for bigger and better situations that will ultimately move us to every aspiration that one could ever dream of.. She is inspiring with every word, every talent given to her by God. She is motivational food to whomever she comes across. She is definitely a great choice for a, " LifeChanger of the year" model. She is so deserving of this honor. I wish you well..

David Person Posted over a year ago

Principal Rahman is committed to helping young people transcend their circumstances and transform their lives. She knows it can be done because she did it herself as a young single mother. Her life and career are a testament to what can be accomplished through dedication, hard work, and belief in a power greater than one's self.

Sani Tait Posted over a year ago

Ms. Abdur-Rahman is an incredible & innovative leader that truly cares for her community. She has a heart for people!

Lorenzo D Grays Posted over a year ago

Good morning and good luck on all of your endeavors. You are truly an awesome woman!

Kareem Hinds Posted over a year ago

Principal Abdur-Rahman is an inspiration! She shows me that there are no good excuses to give less than my very best to serve my community.

Joseph Cuff-Wright Posted over a year ago

Fatihah has that rare aspect of genuine care for her line of work. Every interaction I have witnessed and received was her going above and beyond for the students , family and community she serve. Simply put she is amazing and deserves the title life changer next to her name !

T E D D A V I S, J R. Posted over a year ago

Ms. Fatihah Abdur- Rahman is extremely passionate in everything that she does and she has a special zest for knowledge. One of her many positive qualities is her confidence to succeed and be extraordinary in everything that she does for her students, staff, friends and family. Ms. Rahman is truly a blessing to all who deserves to be celebrated and honored for all of her present and future accomplishments.