November 26, 2020



Chantal Stevens, National Director of Programs, A Better Chance

Malla is an exceptional person. She’s served as a coach, mentor, big sister – you name it – to many of the Scholars in our program. She is thoughtful and thorough, delivering her product in a way that is easy for them to understand. Malla’s easy going nature and her ability to come up with creative ideas also makes her a pleasure to work with.

Justice Reid, Columbia YEP

I had the honor of being a part of the Columbia Young Entrepreneurs Program.

At the time I was a high school sophomore stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out how I wanted to pursue a career in business.You see, I had a dream of becoming a sports agent.

It was the MYEP Program and the direction of Malla Haridat specifically that provided me the career and business acumen training that put me on my path.

Countless afternoons even after the formal program had ended, I was able to get counseling on the business skills needed to be successful.

I was taught how to effectively communicate, build the drive and overall dedication to pursue my goals and build my confidence. I was provided an opportunity to further improve my skills when Malla asked me to work with her in another program some two years later.

I give large credit to her dedication and mentoring which has helped me along in my career today, where I proudly work for Microsoft after having completed my MBA at Wharton and undergraduate degree at Harvard.

Vernon Beckford, Columbia MYEP

My passion to launch and build businesses enterprises blossomed over a decade ago when I participated in the Michael Milken Young Entrepreneurs Program at Columbia Business School, a program coordinated and led by Ms. Haridat.

Looking back on that experience, it is remarkable how much insight she provided.

Prior to the program, I had never given serious thought to becoming a business owner. However, under her guidance I wrote my first business plan and prepared my first presentation soliciting funding to angel investors and venture capitalists.

Since then, she has provided a similarly vital role in each of my entrepreneurial undertaking (while working at large corporations and start-ups), providing strategic oversight on matters concerning operations, cost management, and business development.

She continues to play a vital role in my continued success and I view her as a teacher, mentor, and confidant.

Alike Carrington Fuller, Columbia YEP

One of the biggest takeaways after participating in the MYEP program was the importance of serving and giving back to your community.

One of the projects for YEP that stands out most for me was my leadership role in was coordinating a fashion show for free at a local elementary school.

This event helped me realize that I have a gift. I can use it both for my personal gain in terms of income and success and to share with those who may have not been afforded the same opportunities.

Still to this day service is a part of my life and that was an “a ha” moment at a very young age.

Daniel Bass, Elon University

I recently landed a management trainee position with a large company.  I do not think I could have done this without the help of Malla Haridat. Now only did she teach me how to approach the interviews but also how to negotiate the actual offer.  We discussed sample questions, answers that fit with my background, my overall body language and how I can take over an interview without being overly dominate.  The lessons of professionalism, foresight and self awareness are just a few that I have learned that can be applied everywhere in life. It has been an honor to talk to and learn from Malla Haridat. A true friend and mentor.

Kevin Douglas, Columbia MYEP

The Milken Young Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) may have been the most important formal education I have had. And Malla’s role in this program was critical.

I have always wanted to be wealthy, but until participating in YEP my assumptions about how I would earn that wealth were limited to what I saw my relatives doing and heard my friends and family speak about – learn a trade and buy property.

After participating in YEP I appreciated that there were a greater range of possibilities.  We visited wholesalers, and learned about buying in bulk and selling retail.  We learned about the stock market.

I learned about the long term differences in pay for college educated individual verses non-college educated individuals; this in conjunction with the lesson on an entrepreneur’s need for seed capital is probably why I decided to go to college.