Abdul Hafiz was eight years-old when, in May 2000, his sixteen month-old brother Ibrahim crawled through an open window of his family’s fifth-floor apartment to the fire escape, slipped through the rails, and fell to his death. Shocked and saddened yet motivated by the accident, Abdul has worked to prevent other families from enduring similar tragedies by raising awareness of window safety.
Abdul initiated a campaign for legislation entitled “Ibrahim’s Law” that would require retractable steel safety gates on fire escape windows in New York multiple dwellings. The legislation has been introduced to the City Council, State Assembly, and Senate of New York. With the help of Patricia Lockhart, Abdul’s second-grade teacher and mentor, and fellow classmates, he secured a grant of $400,000 from Housing and Urban Development to install window safety gates, security cameras, and two computer labs and to reduce crime in his Staten Island neighborhood. Abdul has also been named been awarded the Volvo for Life Award, which came with a prize of $25,000 to give to charity. Abdul used the prize to beautify Eibs Pond Park and fund science and community events for local children.
A Law and Government student attending Susan E. Wagner High School, Abdul is the Student Organization President and a member of the Mock Trial team. He is a Certified Peer Mediator and Conflict Resolution Specialist. This fall, Abdul will attend Northeastern University, where he plans to major in International Relations.