9 Things You Need To Know About VMW's Jaeda Malawiya

1. She was a part of the first cohort of the digital storytelling program

Not only has Jaeda been a member of VMW since the beginning lending her musical talents to multiple events her grandmother and herself were a part of VMW’s very first cohort of the digital storytelling program! “ My video told the story of how my Dadi came to Canada.”

2. She is attending UBC in the fall with an interest in social sciences

“My original plan was to major in Gender Race Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia but more recently I’ve been leaning towards Sociology, after some research and conversation with people who majored in Sociology it sounds like a great major. I love the idea of learning about how society functions the way it does, and human behaviour. I think by understanding our social patterns, behaviours etc. we can then change the way we understand one another which brings us a few steps closer to ending global issues.”

3. She has specific criteria in looking for a future career

Jaeda always had a few goals/criteria when considering what she wants to do with her career in the future. “One, it can't be boring. I always want my job to be eventful. Two, I want to have a real impact on the world and change it for the better. It's always been a dream of mine to be a game-changer.” For those reasons, Jaeda has been interested in pursuing a career in law, specifically human rights law. “My goal is to become a Human Rights Lawyer.”

4. She identifies with Belle from Beauty and the Beast

When asked which Disney princess she would be Jaeda answered with all the grace of Belle stating “The theme of Beauty and the Beast is [that] beauty is only skin deep, I've always believed that there is so much more to people than the way they come across at first glance” Just as Belle sees the beauty of the beast, not in his looks but in his personality. “Belle also puts her father before herself [and], I frequently put the needs of others before my own, it can be both a blessing and a curse.”

5. Her favourite VMW event was the first VMW gala in 2018

Donning a stunning red jumpsuit Jaeda attended the 2018 gala as not just a guest but as a performer. “I performed on stage at the bell centre, alongside some incredible talents!”

6. Without VMW in her life, she wouldn’t have accomplished some of her proudest achievements

“Being a part of VMW gave me confidence in myself. [Be]ing part [of] the courses and [multiple] activities with women who are there for each other and willing to lift one another up” helped Jaeda grow her confidence. “Without VMW I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish some of what I consider to be my greatest achievements such as, sing on stage at the bell centre in front of hundreds of people, having the confidence to run for student council and winning in both grade 11 and 12, and also being comfortable public speaking and being my classes Valedictorian.”

7. The mantle of being Muslim woman representation has been passed down to her and she takes it seriously!

“Being a young kid it was not often that I saw the representation of people who looked like me. [B]eing apart of Voices of Muslim Women I’ve met so many accomplished people, doctors, lawyers CEO’s [and] the list goes on. Knowing that there are other women out there like me who may have experienced similar hardships gives me the ability to keep moving forward for the next generation of young Muslim girls.”

8. Her role models inspire her in many aspects of her life

Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzi are household names in regards to women’s rights and, representation and Jaeda holds both women dear to heart stating that last year when she read Michelle Obama’s Becoming “[Jaeda], was immediately astonished by all of her accomplishments, how despite having many of life’s hurdles in her way. The book gave me advice that I needed when deciding if law was right for me. She is also such an accomplished woman it's so inspiring.” and Malala inspired Jaeda for years saying “I’ve always looked up to her. I’m just so inspired by her ability to overcome being shot in the head and still continue to fight for girls’ rights to education. To me, she is the definition of selfless she is incredible.”

9. She has major women power supporting her on her journey

When asked which two people have empowered her to be where she is today Jaeda answers saying “I have a large support system of incredible women in my family who constantly empower me to be the best version of myself, and remind me that I am capable of anything. If I had to pick two people who have empowered me I would have to say my Grammie who just believes without a doubt in her mind that I have the ability to do anything I want in life, and continuously reminds me. My second person whose empowered me would have to be Aisha, the founder of voices of Muslim women. She was the first person outside of my family who recognized my abilities and showed me how I could put them to use. She also introduced me to the world of social justice and that immediately changed my life forever.”

Final Count Down Questions:

5 Amazing Women You’ve Met through VMW:

Evleen, Seemi, Shahin, Zakiyah, Hajar

4 Items You Always Have in Your school bag:

Multicoloured pens, my planner, my laptop, and AirPods

3 Words Which Sum Up What VMW Means to You:

My Safe Space.

2 Words your friends use to describe you:

Selfless and Determined

1 Woman who has empowered you:

Aisha Amijee “she is the literal definition of a powerhouse woman. Growing up I always thought that after having kids your life was supposed to completely revolve around them. To see Aisha start her very own organization while raising 3 amazing little kids is astonishing, and she makes it look so easy. I’m inspired by what shes created for Muslim women daily, shes incredible and id be lucky if someday I am half the woman she is.”

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