My name is Aasiya and I am from Pune, India. I am employed by the Lighthouse Communities Foundation, supporting youth engagement efforts, and I am one of the founding members of the GOYN Pune Youth Advisory Group.
I was born and brought up in a slum in Pune. We, a family of 13, grew up in a room of 10 feet by 10 feet. I am the second eldest daughter of the family. My father was an auto driver and my mother worked as a domestic worker.
I completed my graduation with a lot of struggles. I worked while completing my graduation. I took my first job as a domestic helper. I worked in sales and marketing in companies and as a security guard. I realized I was not equipped with vocational skills due to which I could not get a steady job. I got to know about the Lighthouse at the same time. I completed the foundation course there and gained a lot of confidence and communication skills. Immediately after, I was offered a job in the lighthouse as a youth coordinator.
Around this time, in 2019, I was invited by GOYN to participate in an International Youth exchange program and attend the Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit in Maryland,USA. I was one of the 10 international youth participants selected from across 6 countries. The program was dedicated to youth engagement and leadership. For a person like me to have visited the United States seems like a lifetime achievement. Until then, I had no experience of talking in front of such enormous crowds. I was not confident about speaking in English in the exchange program. On 1st Oct, 2019, however, I addressed the audience in English. The audience applauded, and this helped me to gain confidence in public speaking. I learned how to speak and present myself in such situations and have been counseling the opportunity youth about the same since.
In January 2020, I got promoted to the position of an Outreach Coordinator. My dream is to work in the social sector and empower the youth in slums so much that corporate jobs become accessible to them and they can climb up the corporate ladder too.