Our Leaders

Hannah McCain, Founder and Director

Hannah graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2012 with a major in Religious Studies, concentrating in the study of Islam. Prior to her college stint on the West Coast, Hannah lived in Yarmouth, Maine, where she graduated in 2007 from Yarmouth High School. This past spring Hannah applied for and received a competitive Projects for Peace grant that has allowed her to design and implement YES!, the Youth Engagement for Somalis program. Hannah enjoys traveling, learning, drawing, chronicling her life in journals, going on hikes, exploring cities, and speaking foreign languages (she speaks French, grammatically incorrect Spanish, and a little bit of Arabic).

Astur Tahlil, Assistant Program Leader

Astur was born in Toronto, Canada and lived there until 2003, when her family relocated to Portland. Astur is  a Portland High School graduate who will be beginning her second year of college this fall at USM, where she plans to major in Political Science. Astur has an acute sense of sociability, and she also loves learning about and understanding different cultures. Accordingly, she hopes to one day be able to have a fulfilling career that will satisfy her passion for politics while allowing her to develop an authentic understanding of world cultures. She enjoys immersing herself in a variety of eclectic hobbies — anything from cooking to listening to pop music (“K-pop”) hailing from the South-East Asian country of Korea, a place where she also plans to study next year for her Study Abroad placement.

Hani Ali, Assistant Program Leader

Hani, a Portland High School graduate who is currently studying Psychology at the University of Maine, was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and she came to the United States when she was 3 months old. She plans on studying abroad in a third world country both because she loves learning about different aspects of world cultures and also in order to better understand the variety of factors that influence the human mind in countries around the world. Hani enjoys traveling, socializing, reading, and experiencing new challenges, and she hopes to become a psychiatrist working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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