Washima Huq believes young professionals can make the world a better place.
To do so, it’s important for young people, especially those in minority groups, to see individuals like them in positions of power.
Therefore, she hopes to inspire others as the executive director of the Texas Trust Gives Foundation, where she oversees the charitable giving and volunteer efforts for $1.8 billion asset Texas Trust Credit Union in Arlington, Texas.
She’s done her share of growing and inspiring since joining the credit union in 2017 as a business community engagement partner. She believes her work in community involvement, financial education, and financial counseling shines a positive light on the credit union movement led to the Cornerstone League naming her 2021 Young Professional of the Year.
“I love coming to work every day because I get to help people,” Huq says. “What motivates me the most is empowering others. If I can help other young professionals become successful, then together we can create a movement and inspire people to take action and make the world a better place. I like to make sure everything I do aligns with this belief.”
Huq took her beliefs directly to the Texas Trust Gives Foundation. She wanted to shape the foundation’s early days and spearhead the credit union’s good works, so she got involved.
“If you want to achieve something, speak up about your interest,” she advises other young professionals. “When I heard about the Texas Trust Gives Foundation, I made it known that I had an interest in being part of it. I did not expect to become the executive director, but speaking up opened up opportunities and assignments to help me develop the necessary skills.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions or share your professional goals,” Huq continues. “And if someone offers you feedback, follow their advice and make it happen.”
That’s what Huq has done. Her new goal is to get Texas Trust employees to take ownership in the foundation, see the impact they can have on the organization, and make a difference in the community.
Community presence is crucial to Huq, who believes it highlights the foundation, builds relationships with community members and business owners, and gives the credit union a better understanding of the community’s needs.
She’s particularly proud of being part of the City of Arlington and the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s diversity, equity, and inclusion movement, inspiring and mentoring young minority women to pursue leadership roles.
“As a young Asian-American woman, I want to set an example for others like me and help them develop into leaders,” Huq says.
Huq set this example during the pandemic. She saw the importance of a flexible education while obtaining a master’s degree online several years ago. When the pandemic struck, Huq called on that experience to help develop a digital financial literacy program at Texas Trust.
After nine months of development, Texas Trust launched True Dollar, a monthly webinar that focused on various financial topics and won a Cornerstone League Pinnacle Award.
The True Dollar project illustrates the qualities that have advanced Huq’s career: her ability to be flexible, a self-starter, and an organizer. She’s aware there’s always room to grow.
“There’s a group of people I look up to and lean on that align with different areas of development I want to focus on,” Huq says. “I love people who demonstrate courage and are trailblazers. I hope I can become this type of person.”