Zahra’s Story: Finding confidence

Being a young newcomer comes with its own set of insecurities and challenges. For DIVERSEcity Youth Programs participant Zahra, it’s about getting the support you need to build your confidence

Here’s Zahra’s story …

Zahra, 18, came to Canada with her parents and four sisters from Afghanistan a couple years ago. She has now graduated high school and is looking forward to a bright future. “I want to become a doctor,” she says.

When she first arrived, things weren’t always easy. She lists some of the challenges she faced as: “Making friends, going through the education system, learning the culture, fitting in and getting medical help.”

Seeing an advertisement for DIVERSEcity was a turning point for Zahra and her family. She started attending the DIVERSEyouth and RISE Youth programs, while her parents and younger siblings attended family and community kitchen programs.

“The programs helped me be more confident so that I can be myself and make friends. I do not feel as alone as I did when I first came here,” Zahra says. “I also got to learn about volunteering opportunities, which was important for me in high school.”

Zahra adds that her youth worker helped her write a resumé and taught her how to write cover letters. “This was the most helpful thing for me after graduating high school. No one had ever taught me how to recognize my skills and talk about them in that way. It helped me get to know pieces about myself I had never thought about before,” she says. “I am more confident in my skills and being myself in different spaces now.”

What does Zahra want other newcomer youth to know? “Always ask for help if you need it. Never be afraid to ask people because eventually you will get the help you need if you keep trying.”

Learn more about your services for youth here …