GROUP COORDINATOR | CLACKAMAS COUNTY
Noura was born in Kuwait and spent much of her childhood bouncing between there and Oregon with her parents and four brothers. Noura’s mother is a white American citizen, her father a Middle Eastern Kuwaiti citizen. Her multicultural background made her a target for bullying in elementary school. She spent much of her early years trying to find her identity within the context of conflicting cultures: was she a Muslim or a Christian? White or Middle Eastern? American or Kuwaiti?
In her teen years, Noura moved to the US permanently with her mother and two younger siblings. She attended an arts-centered high school, studying vocal music and creative writing. Noura developed her own identity during these years: she was an artist. For a while, things were turbulent at home as her parents frequently separated and reunited, but Noura was able to escape through creative outlets and after-school activities.
She graduated high school in 2010 and took some college courses at Portland State University before receiving a full academic scholarship through the Kuwait Culture Division. Noura moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University. Without as many creative distractions, manageable depression symptoms began to manifest. She spent her time volunteering with local organizations including the Inside-Out Prison Exchange and A Just Harvest. Noura also interned in with Umoja Student Development Organization, practicing non-violent conflict resolution with teens in Chicago public schools.
Noura graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Peace, Social Justice, and Conflict Resolution. She moved back to Portland and started building her life and career by working as a residential counselor in a community preparation program for troubled teens. Through her work with mentally-ill youth, Noura was able to identify the depression symptoms she'd suffered with for years. She sought help and was able to get the diagnosis, medications, and therapy she needed to cope and thrive beyond her illness.
Now, she is thrilled to be working with Youth ERA as a Group Coordinator in the Clackamas Drop. In her spare time, Noura likes to play musical instruments, sing, walk local trails, and explore foods and cuisines from all over the world. She also practices yoga and meditation to manage her mood and is learning healthier eating and exercise habits to further her journey to total wellness.