From an incredible and inspiring upbringing, Sara Shengeb is working to empower and educate others from a migrant or refugee background.
Sara and her family fled their home country and moved to Australia just five years ago in search of greater opportunities. Growing up in the developing African country of Eritrea, Sara was encouraged to pursue her interest in education.
“I have always been passionate about children and their access to quality education, especially in the horn of Africa region. I want every person to take the opportunity of education and use it to better their lives and the lives of their families and communities.”
While completing her Psychology degree, Sara works part time at the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia for the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network of WA. Here, she helps coordinate programs that assist multicultural youth, particularly those from migrant and refugee backgrounds, to reach their potential and give back to their communities. Sara is also involved in the pilot program, Shout Out, where participants are given skills to share their stories and break down stigmas associated with being a refugee or asylum seeker.
“Through my work with local organisations I’ve constantly heard from children and young people from these backgrounds that they struggle to find their place in the Australian community and place themselves second to every opportunity.”
“I'm passionate about a more cohesive and inclusive society and I work to use my voice and my story to change negative stigmas and perspectives people have about young migrants and refugees.”
Sara says the volunteer and internship opportunities at UWA helped her develop the skills to face real issues happening in local and global communities.
“UWA has been an incredible place to gain skill. The volunteering opportunities it has provided helped me seek community engagement and gain a sense that I am part of a worthy cause.”
“The time I’ve spent volunteering has helped me develop as a person and realise that working in the youth sector is somewhere I want to explore.”
During her time as a refugee, the mere thought of getting to university, let alone working towards completing a double major, was something Sara believed to be impossible. Her mission now stands at creating a more equal and tolerant world.
“I’m pursuing a community that encourages every child and young person to reach their full potential regardless of their cultural, religious, gender or sexual identity. I’m pursuing a world that is free from discrimination, racism, domestic violence and educational disparity.”
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