Learn to Tell Your Story


About Hamzah

Born and raised in Boston, Hamzah Henshaw accepted Islam in 1994 while attending St. Mark’s, a suburban boarding school in Southborough, MA that his father and grandfather attended before him. He is a 2001 graduate of Harvard College, where he concentrated in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations with a minor in economics. While at Harvard, he served as the editor of the Let’s Go Italy & Let’s Go Middle East travel guides. In 2005, he completed the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) program at the American University in Cairo, a fully-funded year of intensive Arabic study. In 2010, he received his Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Amina Naidjate (Williams College)

College applications are undoubtedly daunting; with a laundry list of factors to take into consideration and an increasingly volatile college landscape, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds of it all (I know I did at least). When struggling to whittle down ideas for a personal statement or building a strategic college list, Hamzah’s help was a godsend. He brought a wealth of knowledge to the table — knowledge that I, as a first-generation American Muslim, was not privy to — and made sure to handle my application with care and conscientiousness. He’s proven himself to have mastered this process, and I could not recommend his services more highly.”

Zeynep Alraqeb (Columbia Business School)

Initially, I was concerned about writing a story about myself. What if the essay would not reflect my personality and goals, what if it sounded fake? Hamzah, however, not only encouraged me to do it but also gave me the right tools through his insightful and deeply reflective suggestions. The best proof that working with Hamzah is effective and almost essential is that I am proud of my essay and I cannot only use it for the MBA applications but for my future personal and professional development.

Ahd Hosny (Brown University)

My feelings towards Br. Hamzah, his classes, his help, and support can never be expressed in words. Wallahi, I won't be able to show he how much I appreciate and respect everything he did for me and all the other students! After Allah (SWT)'s help, if I hadn't had such a great teacher, mentor, advisor, and caring person like him, I would've been somewhere completely different in life. He was not only an outstandingly talented teacher, mentor, and advisor, but he was also like a father, brother, and friend to all of us. He helped us feel comfortable and safe when approaching him with any of our problems, and he always made an effort to respect our feelings, needs, and wants while solving the problem with patience and care. I pray that one day I could be just as inspirational as him and help change other people's lives

Yasin Siddiqui (University of Pennsylvania)

I would not have gotten to where I am without Br. Hamzah. He coached me throughout the college application process. We explored different options together, and the insight he provided made me know what to expect. Br. Hamzah not only helped me reach the Ivy League but also helped me figure out how to find the best fit for me. He got to know me, so he was able to give me genuine advice tailored to my preferences and needs. He also helped me distinguish my voice among thousands of other applicants. Br. Hamzah always made himself available when I needed advice, regardless of how busy he was. Our meetings were cathartic in the sense that once they were over, I would always have an answer or know which direction to proceed. I really could not have done this without him.

Injy El-Dib (Brown University)

It’s rare to find a mentor so deeply invested in the success and happiness of their students. Br. Hamzah not only spent the time to get to know every one of his students on a personal level, but he was also incredibly knowledgeable about how to use that information to their benefit. During the beginning of my college application process, Br. Hamzah set me up with a strong foundation, teaching me about my audience and pushing me to reflect on the experiences that shaped me. His mini deadlines kept me on track and his insightful feedback always made me feel like each draft was a step in the right direction. Br. Hamzah leveraged his extensive experience as a phenomenal English teacher and a seasoned college counselor to both oversee the logistics of applying to college and help me craft authentic, polished essays. When it came time to open decision letters, Br. Hamzah offered his guidance in choosing between colleges. He was happy to get on the phone or stay after school to discuss and weigh our options, and come deposit day, I felt that I was making an informed decision. I can confidently say that he was a decisive factor in my college acceptance results, where I ended up committing, and ultimately where my life stands right now.

Ayia El-Sadig (Tufts University)

Br. Hamzah played a crucial role in helping me tackle the college application process. He provided me with examples of great storytelling essays to help us write our narrative essays, he taught me strategic methods to filling out the common app (especially in terms of utilizing space in the activities section), and he supported me in my essay writing process by helping me showcase the most diverse and compelling parts of my personality and life story. Br. Hazmah helped me put my best foot forward by helping me present my best self to colleges.

Zaynab Khemmich (Boston University Academy)

Br. Hamzah changed my life. Just like Oscar Wilde completely re-directed the course of my life, he has done the exact same. He are the “realest” teacher and counselor I have ever met that truly showed me the realities of life and the beauty in everything. During my struggle to apply to and decide about my new school next year, he went out of his way to sit and have a genuine talk with me. He genuinely wanted me to succeed and be the best I can be while also showing me that college is not the only aspect of life. For that, I will be always grateful. I always put my value on my grades and getting into a good college, but he has opened my eyes to reality. That life is more than just college and that a person’s success doesn’t depend on a letter grade or essay. He has shaped me into the person I am today and the person I strive to be in the future. He is just as inspirational as John Keating in Dead Poet’s Society.

Hira Khan (Wellesley College)

When I first entered high school, I didn't know I had any potential as a writer. So when I had Br. Hamzah for English and realized how fun it was to dissect Othello's mental state and analyze the Bennet family, I began to seriously consider majoring in English in college. While everyone else around me was grumbling about how they didn't know what they wanted to do in college, I was certain it was going to be English, and I have him to thank for that. I also really really admire the way he prioritizes Islam above all else. It's so inspiring to hear him talk about Islam because he's so well-spoken and he does such a good job at instilling of Allah in my heart. It's been so refreshing to see someone so grounded in faith for the past four years.

Rayan Tabidi (Northwestern University)

Br. Hamzah has supported every initiative I have asked advice for. He encouraged my growth throughout the entirety of my high school career. And he saw potential in me even when I didn't see it in myself. His class taught me so much more than just applying to college. It taught me about myself. It enabled my growth as a person in general and for that I will be forever grateful. I will forever and always attribute my success to the lessons I have learned from him.

Fatimah Laher (UMass Amherst)

I can't put into words how grateful I've been for Br. Hamzah’s counsel and guidance throughout these past four years. He instilled a lot of self confidence in me especially pertaining to my writing abilities, and I can soundly say that I will never enjoy an English class as much as I did his. I have respect for him as a teacher as well as a sort of second father figure. The way he speaks makes me want to open up a book and absorb new ideas. May Allah reward him for all that he’s done to help me.

Ali Noamany (Williams College for Ali Noamany)

After years of having Br. Hamzah as my teacher, through all the great ups and downs, I can confidently say that he is one of the greatest mentors I've had. I hope his contributions will continue to have such a beneficial effect on our community.

Shamiza Quader (MCPHS University)

Br. Hamzah is the best teacher I have ever had. I was a shy, timid student. But he is an exceptional teacher who knows how to connect with the students. His amiable nature, kindness, and warmth makes him our favorite teacher. My family was very happy and proud of me because of him. I thank him for making me a better human and a little more confident and social. May Allah bless him with happiness and accept all his good deeds. I pray that he gets the best of both worlds.

Yumnah Elshaar (Middlebury College)

I mean it with everything in me when I say how happy, appreciative, and thankful I am that I was able to be one of Br. Hamzah’s students for 3 years. He has taught me so much about English, Islam, and life in general. He believed in me to be and do great when I didn't believe in myself, and I thank him for pushing me to become a better student and human. He changed my outlook on life, and I really would not be the person I am today if it weren't for everything I've learned from him. His sense of humor is most definitely unmatched by anyone. He was more than just my teacher, but my mentor and friend as well. He truly is one of my greatest role models and I hope to be even HALF as great as him one day.