Sophia Zahra first came to YMCA when she was 17 years old, during one of the lowest points of her life (read her story here). Here she tells us what she has been up to since winning the Young Achiever of the Year Award at YMCA Youth Matters Awards, and how it has since had a big impact on her confidence.
How did you feel when you won the award?
Initially I couldn’t believe it. The other nominees were so inspiring and I felt privileged to be sharing the category with them, let alone winning it. The atmosphere at the event was so positive and feel-good, winning the award was just the icing on the cake of what had already been such a fun experience.
In that moment I felt so proud of everything I’d achieved. Most of all, I was overjoyed to be able to share it with the people, my colleagues, that have been with me through every step of my journey.
What has happened since winning your award?
Since winning my award, I have successfully continued my personal and professional development in order to provide the best support possible for young people, studying and completing qualifications in youth work and business administration. I was recently promoted to the role of Volunteer Coordinator at YMCA Swansea and have been coordinating my own project since January. Further to this, I have been accepted into university for September 2018 to study Sports Science!
How was winning the award impacted on your life in the last few months?
Winning the award made a huge impact on my life. As someone who has struggled with self-belief, confidence and anxiety for many years, winning the award made me realise that all the hard work I had put in had paid off. It made me see that the work I actually do makes a difference to other people’s lives, and that by continuing to give 100% I can impact other people’s lives in the same way that mine was by YMCA.