“I volunteer because it’s a medium through which I can make a positive difference in the world,” said Y57‘s May 2012 Youth of the Month Aliya Dossa. Aliya, Youth 4 Tap co-founder, Indian jazz dancer, photographer, and future UBC student has had quite the adventure in her high school career. Like many of our Youth of the Months, this enthusiastic and passionate girl seems to never have a free moment to just sit back and kick up her feet.
Along with her love of playing field hockey, singing and dancing, she also has a passion for traveling, learning new words and writing. Nonetheless she’s also one of those rare few young people who like to pop open the newspaper and know what’s going on in our world today. Perhaps this is because of her future ambitions of going into a career focused around human rights, environmental/social justice law and social enterprise.
To date, Aliya would consider her role as the co-founder of Youth 4 Tap to be her biggest contribution to society. It is “a movement designed to encourage and enable people to drink tap water instead of bottled water,” she says. Along with two of her friends she started this up and has been able to save over 800,000 water bottles from ending up in landfills. They show us that it is important to start these things early. So instead of just inserting their bottle refill stations in large business they have decided to start with the installation in high schools to discourage people from drinking bottled water. Further on this, Aliya has had the wonderful opportunity of speaking about this exciting initiative and the notion of sustainable happiness at TEDxKidsBC. With such inspiration stemming from this talk Aliya can proudly say that inspired attendees from Calgary and Toronto started their own Youth 4 Tap clubs in their respective cities as well as schools. Although Aliya doesn’t do this for the recognition it is so wonderful to see that her initiative matters and means something to others so much that it has now transcended the borders of BC and gone beyond!
Along with her above service Aliya also co-chairs a club called Students Helping Students through which they lead high school students to help elementary school students with their homework. Continuing her love for working with and helping children she has also been a Girl Guide Leader for the past couple of years.
Now with the little spare time that seems almost unfathomable in Aliya’s non-stop life she also plays the alto saxophone in the Vancouver Ismaili Marching Band and has been doing so for the past 6 years! Let’s not forget the Indian Jazz dancing and field hockey she’s been a part of for the past 9 years. That means on top of leading and attending club meetings she also has to attend practices for her activities as well as performances! Where she gets the time is still the million dollar question-but she shows us that if you have a passion or many passions it is possible to be a part of everything and find balance.
When asked what advice she could give all our young readers and listeners out there Aliya recommended that “people discover their passions and then chase them!” On top of that she brilliantly advises us that the best approach to humanitarian work is to â€œthink about what bothers you most about the world, your country, your province, your city, your community, your school, or even your neighborhood, and then take action to make a change! Through Aliya’s words and experiences we learn that no action is too small. “Every single step contributes to the marathon humanitarians spend their lives running and so each step makes the destination a little bit closer, a little more possible, and a little more attainable.” Wise words from an inspiring young woman!
Click HERE to nominate someone you think deserves to be named Y57′s Youth of the Month!