CAIR-LA Is pleased to feature Maisa Youssef as the #SoCalMuslimoftheWeek
Since the third grade, Maisa Youssef aspired to be a teacher.
“I always wanted to teach math,” Youssef said. “That was always my passion.”
She is the devoted principal at Orange Crescent School (OCS) in Garden Grove, where she is serving her sixth year after spending the previous five as a high school math teacher in the San Fernando Valley.
“We’re really a community, private school, so it’s like an extended family,” said Youssef of OCS, where 260 students from preschool to eighth grade attend. “You really get to know the kids well, their strengths, their weaknesses and just kind of connect with them.”
She adds it is particularly important to connect with them in today’s climate, where images of Muslims aren’t always positive.
“A lot of times the media has their own portrayal of what a Muslim looks like here,” she said. “Our youth needs to know (the truth).”
Youssef earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems from Cal State Northridge and a master’s in public policy with a concentration in nonprofit management from UCLA. She also has a master’s in educational leadership and policy studies with an administrative credential from Cal State Northridge.
Personal: Youssef, born and raised in the Valley, lives with her husband, Ibrahim Osman, and their five children in Santa Ana.
Last book read: “The Positive Discipline in the Muslim Home” by Noha Alshugairi, Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine and Jane Nelsen
Quotable: “My faith encourages me to stay in this field of education. It can be tough, especially working in a private school that you wear many hats and you do many things. But to take on the role of principal, I have a greater purpose to really influence these kids and their lives and knowing their Muslim identity the correct and positive way.”