Iftishamul Nihal, who goes by Ifti, is a fourth year Industrial Engineering student at the University of Florida. Ifti first got involved with Project Downtown while he was in high school on trips to visit his brother in Gainesville who happened to be PD Director. Through his early involvement with the organization, he fell in love with its values and its impact on the Gainesville community. He thinks that Gainesville is a special place because the community is made up of people that come here from all over, and he believes that Project Downtown gives the community a unique opportunity to leave an impact on this city while we have the pleasure to be here. When he’s not working with Project Downtown, you can find Ifti playing soccer, cooking, and stargazing at Paynes Prairie.
Baazil is a fourth year Industrial and Systems Engineering student at the University of Florida and is excited to serve as Vice President of Project Downtown. He previously held the position of Internal Coordinator and was first introduced to Project Downtown as a freshman, where he attended a few City Hall services prior to the pandemic. Amidst the pandemic, he regularly attended GRACE Marketplace services and was eager to have a greater impact on the organization. What he loved most about both types of services was the sense of community amongst and between the Project Downtown volunteers and the underserved population of Gainesville. Aside from Project Downtown, Baazil loves rock climbing, photography, and meeting new people.
Ayesha Khuddus is a second year student majoring in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology on the premedical track at the University of Florida. Having grown up in Gainesville, Ayesha remembers attending Project Downtown services with her grandmother, where she delivered bagged lunches at GRACE Marketplace, and being inspired by the vast impact the organization had on people’s lives. She is passionate about PD’s ideals and loves being able to give back to her community. In her free time, Ayesha loves to travel, explore the outdoors, and try new foods. Ayesha is very excited to serve as this year’s Internal Coordinator and is looking forward to seeing what PD accomplishes in this upcoming year.
Aya Erquizi is a graduated senior with a BS in Mathematics on a premedical track. She’s planning on being in Gainesville for her gap year and is really excited to serve as this year’s PD treasurer. Aya was PD banquet co-chair, and she really enjoyed planning PD Gainesville’s Annual Charity Banquet, PD’s biggest fundraising event of the year.
Shahid Adam has graduated Undergrad with his Bachelors of Health Science degree. He will be continuing his education here with UF’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program. He is super excited to serve as PD’s Outreach Coordinator this upcoming year. Shahid was PD’s Morning Chair this past year, where he had a great time making bagged lunches and donating them to Grace Marketplace. It was a different, yet rewarding experience from the typical weekend services that he attends. He also enjoyed being in charge of the distribution of hygiene kits at weekly services this past year, and can’t wait to expand our services to bigger and better things each week! Outside of PD, you can catch Shahid on the basketball courts or watching sports! #LetsGoHeat