In a cozy living room, we gathered to drink tea and catch up. Many of us had recently completed graduate, law, or medical school. We had known each other for years, and cherished the bonds that helped us through tough times in school and life. We had been to each other’s graduations, weddings, baby showers, and traveled together.

To an outsider we might have looked your standard set of young professionals, but that is not how we saw each other;  now, we know our accomplishments were the result of the cumulative sacrifice of our parents and communities, as well as our friends. We know that it “takes a village.”

It was the friendship and commitment to one another’s success that got us to where we are today – the late night phone calls before exams or interviews, warm introductions, application reviews, and timely personal coaching. “We are all in this together.” This mentality made us stronger. We saw our cumulative network grow through the networks of one another. At the end of the day, the Andala Network is simply about building and spreading lasting friendships, supporting one another, and giving back.

Our hope is that this simple concept can inspire others to do the same. We hope other groups of friends, Muslim and non-Muslim, gather in living rooms around the country can help each other, their communities, and the next generation.