Blessed with a supportive and ambitious family, Sanaa grew up with many advantages not afforded to many. Raised in New York she followed in her mother’s footsteps with a passion for acting. After studying the arts at Yale University’s School of Drama, the actress moved to Los Angeles at the behest of her father, a television producer. It was on her very first day at school that an acting teach doled out a piece of invaluable advice. Telling the young thespians, “Success is measured more by the ability to preserve in the face of adversity than your talent.” Without a doubt, the presence of family and the opportunity for education molded Sanaa and prepped her for success and unavoidable rejection. “This business is not for the faint of heart,” she shares. Her father also help prepped her for the world of Hollywood, telling his daughter: “Every audition, give it everything you’ve got, because it will literally or figuratively be an investment in your future. It will pay off eventually. Even if you don’t get the job.” Sanaa says, “He was right.”

Today the working activist hopes to do the same for these young women experiencing hardships.  “One positive moment with a young person provides the possibility of changing their path in the right direction forever,” she shares.