YLI Grad Gives Back in Pakistan

The Youth Leadership Initiative is creating ripples of positive change that are spreading throughout the community and even around the world.
One of our YLI alumni from the class of 2010-2011 is Falak Sher Marri (Sher for short), who was an exchange student from Pakistan. He came to Minnesota through the Youth for Understanding (YFU) program which specifically targets building positive relationships between American and Muslim youth. He participated in the program that year, made lots of friends, and was excited to go back home to do a program similar to YLI in Pakistan. 
 

Educating Impoverished Children for a Brighter Future

Recently, Sher has founded a nonprofit called the Precious Minds Foundation (PMF). Centered in the remote Pakistani village of Jamnindo Marri, PMF provides impoverished children with the opportunity to attend a free school where they become literate in Sindhi, Urdu and English, thus expanding their horizons and improving their chances of a bright future.
Through the program, kids learn about Pakistan, hygiene, the environment, and community service. They also receive hygiene packages and school supplies. The Foundation seeks to develop qualities of teamwork and confidence in the students. The program was developed for 50 students, but the number of participants has now exceeded 105 students.
Sher says about his project: “I’m just doing my part of giving back to society.”
 

“Youth Can Change the World if they are Provided Opportunities”

“I believe that leadership is a skill that every individual possesses in a different way," says Sher. "Youth can influence and effectively change the world if they are provided opportunities to do so. YLI has given youth from different cultures a platform to enhance their skills."
From an essay Sher wrote as part of his YLI experience: “Leadership is, in fact, a hand you can change the world with. But the right kind of leadership is very important. A leader who has wide knowledge of politics, culture and environment affirms a bright future of a community. The ability to listen carefully and learn from your actions is exactly what a leader needs. I’d always been looking for programs that could develop my leadership talent. Today, I’m proud to say this YLI journey has impacted my life to a great extent. I’ve been introduced to different problems in the world; I’ve learned to bring positive change in the community. Now I’m more confident and see a bright future. I want to acknowledge YLI for giving me a chance to be a leader, a great leader. A good leader is the one who hears people’s problems without being heard, who feels pain without being expressed and who firmly believes that ‘I’m the change’.”
“Sher is just an amazing young man,” says Nou Yang, YLI program manager. It is so wonderful to see how he is practicing leadership to improve the lives of children in his community.”

 

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