Photo by Geneva Nodland
A Converastion MS. Veera Khalil
During this month where we all share gratitude for each other, I wanted to connect with someone who inspires me with their exemplary attitude.
Ms. Veera Khalil, an accomplished alumna of Minnesota State University Moorhead, has successfully earned multiple degrees. Veera’s journey has been extraordinary from the outset, owing to her global upbringing and diverse experiences living across the world. Residing in various parts of Europe, she acquired a rich cultural tapestry. Fluent in seven languages, akin to her father who served as an interpreter for the US military, Veera’s path has been both diverse and inspiring. In 2012, she relocated her family to the Fargo-Moorhead area, embarking on a new chapter.
At present, Veera holds positions on the boards of directors for several non-profit organizations and is employed by the FMWF Chamber of Commerce as an Integration Strategist. Her unwavering commitment to community involvement, coupled with her remarkable background, continues to shape her journey. Veera is enthusiastic about sharing her distinctive experiences and insights.
Next time you see her, ask her which community project is keeping her busy!
Until next time,
Where do you call home?
I have been fortunate to call many places home, including Europe, the Middle East, and the United States of America since 2012. In March of 2013, I relocated my entire family to the amazing Fargo-Moorhead area, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity. My childhood home in Kurdistan, “North of Iraq,” holds a special significance. Being raised in a Kurdish family shaped my identity and instilled a deep sense of belonging. Each place I have lived became home through the bonds and experiences I forged along the way.
Your proficiency in seven languages is impressive, how did you learn all of them?
My father had the talent and knew that it was very beneficial for his kids to pick up different languages, so he exposed us to a myriad of cultures and languages and sent us to a school that educated us from a very young age to use our language skills and learn more!
Why should the people in the FM community care about learning new languages?
It’s like unlocking a treasure trove of benefits! Imagine improving communication with diverse stakeholders, creating fantastic customer service experiences, and gaining access to exciting global opportunities. Embracing new languages brings a delightful touch of cultural understanding, making interactions a delightful dance of harmony. Safety and compliance become a breeze, while conflicts are deftly resolved with a sprinkle of linguistic finesse. Plus, it’s a journey of personal growth, expanding horizons like never before! So, that’s my why!
You wear so many hats, what advice do you have for people wanting to successfully juggle so many roles like you?
My advice is to embrace versatility with love and passion. Find joy in every role you take on, prioritize self-care, and remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Surround yourself with supportive people and believe in your abilities. With love as your guiding light, you can gracefully juggle all your hats and shine brightly in each of your endeavors! I love to volunteer in many different organizations and non-profits any chance I get! I mentor and tutor and I am on the board of the New American consortium. I am a certified interpreter/translator and that was my way into the depth of the community and it also helped me connect with the needs and wants of others!
What are your fondest memories of this college journey you just concluded?
I absolutely loved being able to cater to students’ needs while I held the role of a senator, transforming their experience for the better and immersing them in activities that helped them momentarily set aside the stresses of life, even if it was just for a couple of hours!
Can you share some of the work you do now in the community? How can others get involved?
I have a deep passion for community involvement, and I’m always eager to lend a hand in both for-profit and non-profit initiatives. Volunteering has been a cornerstone of my commitment to making a positive impact.
Currently, some of the work I’m engaged in involves collaborating with local non-profits that focus on education and environmental conservation. I’ve had the privilege to contribute to tutoring programs for underprivileged students, as well as participating in tree-planting and clean-up campaigns to nurture our environment.
For those interested in getting involved, I encourage you to embrace the power of networking. Connecting with organizations and fellow community members allows you to discover meaningful opportunities. Don’t hesitate to step out of your comfort zone—being present and assisting others has been transformative for me. Over time, it’s led me to gain an in-depth understanding of the community, its needs, and its strengths.
Remember, every small effort adds up, and the more you engage, the more confident and connected you’ll become. Together, we can make a difference and create a stronger, more vibrant community for everyone.
What is your vision of the Red River Valley in 2030?
My vision of the Red River Valley in 2030 is one of vibrant growth and sustainable development. I see a region that has harnessed its natural resources and embraced innovative technologies to create a thriving economy while preserving its unique environmental heritage. Communities thrive, enveloped in a nurturing cocoon of quality education, accessible healthcare, and the rich tapestry of culture. A symphony of renewable energy sources whispers in harmony with the breeze, caressing the landscape and powering our dreams. Along the river’s edge, a serene transformation takes place—the gentle restoration of its essence, inviting everyone to find solace in its renewed embrace. This future, lovingly crafted, weaves together progress and reverence, creating a haven where prosperity and peace dance hand in hand, a true gift for generations to come.