Welcome!

A young

On this site, you can read my published research and journalism. You can also explore a culinary project inspired by my Persian heritage called Katayoon’s Kitchen. To learn about who I am, please visit About Layli.

Questions or comments? Please reach out!


Nature’s beauty has always nourished my spirit and inspired my creative work. The banner image is from my painting “Forest Meditation” (gouache on board).


Most recent publications:

Three teenagers study together in a conference room.

Teens Mentor Fellow Teens, Who Mentor Kids in Turn in NC

“As a youth, it’s very impactful to be able to feel that you’re doing something good,” says Issa Masumbuko, a high school student in Durham, North Carolina. “It’s kind of like we’re being held back by society, but when we’re given the opportunity to contribute, we start to see our importance in the world.”

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Three adolescents sit at a table and make greeting cards.

Newcomer Uses Bahá’í-Inspired Approach to Empower Arizona Kids

Although Jaron Myers’s story unfolds in the desertscape of central Arizona, it actually starts 1,500 miles away in Minnesota. At 18, Myers was a college student and churchgoer there. But he wasn’t satisfied with his spiritual life, feeling a disconnect between the rituals of religion and the call he felt to serve society.

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A group of children and teens works on art projects at a table.

Missouri Teen Recognized with Race Relations Award

A Baha’i teen who organized a school-based Social Justice Club has earned national recognition. Adib Rabbani won a 2021 Princeton Prize in Race Relations, an award from Princeton University “to support and encourage young high school students committed to fostering positive race relations within their communities,” according to their website. Rabbani was among 29 winners in…

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A group of children sits on a blanket outdoors and paints pictures.

Small Maryland Town Shows a Big Appetite for Spiritual Activities

Growing up in a small town has its benefits: kids often enjoy a tight-knit community and relative safety. But they may not have as many opportunities to expand their horizons as their urban peers do. Take Federalsburg, Maryland, a town of 2,700 nestled near the center of the Delmarva Peninsula between Chesapeake Bay and the…

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