Young Women Empowered

Testimonials: Alumnae

 

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Iman

Iman Mohamed

“Y-WE helped me to grow confident in my own skin and love who I am.”

My name is Iman Mohamed and I am a senior in High School. YWE helped me to grow confident in my own skin and love who I am. One goal for my own future is to educate young girls and give them an opportunity to love themselves. One way I hope to make a difference in my community is start sharing some of the things I learned in Y-WE with others.

Yasira

Yasira Njadoe

Y-WE is a place where I feel my voice is heard and I use that to speak out more and get more involved in my community.”

I am a second year student at the University of Washington Bothell. I was a youth first at Y-WE and now an intern/mentor. Y-we has helped me a lot throughout the years—from my college applications; to the kind of person I want to be mentally and physically. Y-WE helped me to view the world in a more open minded way. Y-WE is a place where I feel my voice is heard and I use that to project my voice to the outside world by speaking out more and getting involved in my community. All of this has led me to figure out what I want to do in the future. I plan to major in international business/ global studies and then hopefully someday go back to my home country Gambia to build a non-profit organization for girls.

Husna

Husna Hanga

“One of my hopes for women and girls in the future is for them to feel comfortable around each other without feeling competitive.”

I go to Shorecrest High School, and I am a senior. I have participated in Y-WE as a youth for 4 years. Ywe has helped me expand my friend group and be okay with who I am. One goal for the future is to be able to experience, and learn from different cultures, and also to share my own. One way I hope to make a difference in my community is to expand the minds of people, and help them be more open to people with different ethnic backgrounds then their own. Through Y-WE I’ve learned to trust women, and my hopes for women and girls in the future is for them to feel comfortable around each other without feeling competitive.

Kadija

Kadija Hussein

“Y-WE has helped me grow as a leader.”

I go to Garfield High School and I am a junior. I participate in Y-we as a ylc member. Y-we has helped me grow as a leader. One goal for my own future is to expand my horizons and travel the world to help people of all ages .One way I hope to make a difference in my community is to make sure younger generations get the help that they need in order to become successful.

Maddie

Maddie McCann

“Y-WE has helped me expand my friendship groups outside of the school environment with girls of a wide variety of nationalities, races, and views.”

I participate in Y-WE’s program Y-WE Lead and am on the Youth Council Board. Y-WE has helped me to express my personal journey and deep feelings and I learned to let go of my fear of judgment. Because of this, I gained much more confidence and inspiration to express myself creatively (in Y-WE) and academically (in the classroom). Also, it is has helped me expand my friendship groups outside of the school environment with girls of a wide variety of nationalities, races, and views.

One goal I have for my own future is to find passion in something and focus on it. One way I hope to make a difference in my community is to teach what I know through open communication. It is too easy to be locked into a routine and close others, and even yourself, out of how you feel. So, by listening and conversing with others, I feel that my community can live in the present and become more compassionate. One way I am working on this goal is through my job, which is tutoring children ages four through 12 at Kumon, where I not only teach the kids, but try to inspire them to focus on their work and encourage them to keep with the program because of its benefits. I use communication with them to find out what they are frustrated with in their struggles and help them with this. It’s not in my job description, but I think it makes a difference.

Adiza

Adiza

“Y-WE gave me strong female role models”

I Participated in Y-WE 2010-2011. Y-WE has had a great impact on me. It has gotten me more involved in social issues, the arts, gender/women’s studies in college…..the list is endless. It’s also given me strong female role models that are not singers or models or TV hosts, but women who live and breathe and share the same space as me- women who support families and communities. The person-to-person connections that I had with my mentors in the program and STILL maintain to this day and are so important in my life. I attend Pomona College.

Douinya

Douniya Ahmed

“Being African and Muslim, it was always a struggle to find my way, but with help and support from Y-WE and all the new friends I made I graduated from high school and now I am pursuing my higher education.”

I participated in Y-WE from 2011 -2013 and I am now an intern. Through Y-WE I’ve come to learn that friendships work both ways. I began to see those around me who only needed me when they wanted something was not healthy and that’s when I began choosing my friends wisely and disconnecting myself from bad influences and those who didn’t feel like someone I would like to have in the long run. I learned to make new friends and to be more open and to be more like myself.

The most important things I learned from Y-WE are to stop judging people so easily because you don’t know where other people come from or what they have been through. I also learned a lot about myself like how to prioritize and how to be a leader within my community. I learned to speak up for myself and those around me and to have more confidence in myself too. I learned so much during my experience with Y-WE.

Y-WE had a very big part on helping me connect with people I would not think I could be friends with. When I first came to the program, I came in with a group of my close friends and by the middle of the program I was not always with them…I began to branch out and get to know so many different people from all walks of life. This helped me make friends outside of Y-WE too.

The major goal I achieved for myself that allows me to be here now is the fact that I graduated high school. That was a huge step for me in my life because it was always a goal for me. It might not be something that others often struggle with but for me going to a racially and religiously biased high school made it even tougher for me to achieve what the majority did. Being African and Muslim it was always a struggle to find my way but with help and support for Y-WE and all the new friends I made I pulled it off and now I am pursuing my higher education.

When I first joined Y-WE I didn’t really know what field I wanted to go into but I knew it had something to do with my passion for learning languages. One big way that Y-WE helped me was by putting me with Mentor Candice who agreed to help me learn some Mandarin Chinese. And just by getting a taste of that from Y-WE I am now majoring in East Asian languages with an emphasis on Mandarin.

Joy

Joy Keren

“Because of Y-WE I have the confidence that tells me I can get from one place to another all by myself. I now know I am my own advocate, I am worth a ton, and can give a whole lot more.”

I participated in Y-WE 2011-2012. At Y-WE I learned about other women and their challenges (personal and career wise). I learned about my body, peace, and the power of me as a woman in the world. It was more about the role models that were around me showing me how it was to be the type of woman I wanted to be and how to contribute my gift to others.

YWE’s diversity takes the colorful cake! I got to meet exchange students from China, a whole bunch of AMAZING ladies from Ethiopia and so on. There were different beliefs and religions. The diversity helped me see things in different light and I was able to ask questions and have awesome talks about things that I could not without that diversity. It is actually one of the highlights of Y-WE!

Career day influenced a lot of how I think about higher learning and that you don’t have to be perfect to get in. I also got some great resources from my mentors and pep talks. I am currently living in Ramat-Gan, near Tel-Aviv. I am spending this year in service through the Israeli Scouts.

A struggle that I have overcome is, the confidence in myself. I don’t mean the ‘I am beautiful and stuff’ but the confidence that tells me I can get from one place to another all by myself, I am my own advocate and that I am worth a ton and can give a whole lot more.

I was really affected by the women around me contributing to a cause they believed in… It was inspiring and humbling to see them put in their time to make my life more enriched. This is part of the reason that I have decided to give a year to support other young people in a country that I can call my home.

Sophie

Sophie Frank

“During my time with Y-WE, I have overcome the struggles of school, financial problems, family issues, self hatred and doubt.”

I have participated in Y-WE 2011-present. Y-WE is a community of some of the most powerful individuals in the greater Seattle area. Everyone works together to support one another in speaking their truths and acting with integrity as an empowered woman in the community. Y-WE inspires the younger generation to make a difference on both a smaller and larger scale in being able to lead with passion, honesty and social integrity.

Hard work, good friends and changing outward attitudes resulting from the amazing women at Y-WE brought me to where I am currently: a worldly, conscious and more loving high school senior. I have matured and grown as a woman in the past three years, and that is beyond a shadow of a doubt. My family, the women at Y-WE and my dear friends from Whidbey Island have helped me along the way. I have overcome the struggles of school, financial problems, family issues and self hatred and doubt.

Taya

Taya Jae

“The cultural diversity at Y-WE left me, as a white woman, feeling more like a minority that a majority. This was both a humbling and diversifying experience.”

I participated in Y-WE 2010-2011. Y-WE has diversified my resources and fostered connections with other organizations and people. It taught me how not to judge on appearances. It helped me to pursue my creativity and to ask for support when endeavoring to do things. As a 21st century woman it is important to find other women to offer support, honesty and encouragement. The cultural diversity left me, as a white woman, feeling more like a minority that a majority. This was both a humbling and diversifying experience.

I currently study Sexual Anthropology and Visual Art at Bennington College in Vermont.

Y-WE fostered my interest in different communities and cultures, which cultivated my passion for Anthropology. I attend a good school, I am independent, I maintain a high level of creativity in my daily life and have a deep rooted interest in people.

I find an amazing support system in the form of my mother, a single mom, an artist and a highly creative and proactive problem solver. I have been a type 1 Diabetic since age 2 which has been a constant and recurring challenge. It took a long time for me to take ownership of my illness and that is perhaps my greatest achievement.”

Yuki

Uuganbayar Yuki Lkhagvasuren

“Y-WE is one of the most empowering, positive, fun, conscious, healing and loving places for diverse and colorful young women to explore their hopes, dreams and their self; and to grow, not alone, but with others.”

I Participated in Y-WE 2010-2011. YWE is a sacred and mandatory place that exists for girls and women like me. It is one of the most empowering, positive, fun, conscious, healing and loving places for diverse and colorful young women to explore their hopes, dreams and their self and to grow not alone but with others.  There are not many organizations or program exclusively for young women empowerment (at least not as diverse and awesome as this one). For some girls this might be the only place where they are allowed to be themselves with their real feelings, opinions and voices, which is essential for the metamorphosis into their fullest potential with support, love and empowerment.

I learned the importance of self-acceptance ,which enables growth and never giving up on yourself. Life is a path you walk on your own, but it is encouraging to know others like you are also walking on theirs and ultimately you are not alone.

Before Y-WE, when I met people from different cultures and backgrounds than mine, I was secretly a little worried… ‘what if I am not able to connect with them on the level I might be able to connect with people that are similar to me.’ Turns out I should not have been worried at all because my experience with people at Y-WE showed me–it is actually easy to connect with people that are different from me. I am so interested and excited to learn about other people’s cultures or backgrounds so now it’s easy to connect with them.

I am currently taking time off from school to help my family. I work at Washington Community Action Network as a phone canvasser and I am part of a non-profit pilot for conscious fashion for immigrant and refugee women.

My family, friends and Seattle community, including Y-WE, has helped me become the current me. Goals achieved in the past few years would be finally getting my DACA status for I was a Dream Act student. I am now working at place I believe in and starting my own business.  My immigration journey has been a challenging one and I often used to feel defeated and ashamed. If it wasn’t for the acceptance and support from my community at Y-WE, I truly don’t think I would have made progress in my path to citizenship. My Y-WE mentor, Aly, has really helped me to realize that I wanted to work for myself not for others and pushed me to get started. It is an ongoing goal to achieve, but I am so much closer to having my own boutique.  The main struggle I overcame would be my trust issues with people, especially women, due to traumatizing bullying experience with mean girls in middle school. Having met so many wonderful girls and women at YWE really helped me to heal and move on from that experience.

Amy

Amy Cha

“The powerful women I’ve met during Young Women Empowered have challenged me to take on a major in Business Finance.”

My name is Amy Cha. I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Washington and this year I am and Intern at Young Women Empowered.

Young Women Empowered has allowed me to take on leadership roles in an environment not based on age or title, but on one’s desire to learn. In the future, one thing I want to do most to make the world a better place for all girls and women is to create more equality in the male dominated workforce. The powerful women I’ve met during Young Women Empowered have challenged me to take on a major in Business Finance.

Click here to support Young Women Empowered. And if you sign up to donate monthly during the month of December, Microsoft will MATCH your first gift! Thank you for investing in the power and potential of the next generation of young women leaders!