It is often said that if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. I got to a stage in life where I wanted to do so many things, with no idea where to start from.
The past few months has given me the opportunity to reevaluate my life goals, ask myself some tough questions I’ve never had time to ask and start putting real plans in place to achieve my life goals. In the end, I have come out more confident, well-organized and energized about the future than before.
This is an opportunity everyone must endeavor to grab. I am most grateful to Aya for taking me through this moment of self-discovery, and for taking me a step closer to my dreams.
The biggest benefit of the mentorship for me was connecting with Aya Chebbi as I have been and still a fan of her work and her accomplishment. Aya is very down to earth, humble and funny. I loved how she made me feel comfortable and I could say anything to her.
The African Union conference, Aya nominated me to attend, was an eye-opening experience, meeting people from across Africa. I used to stereotype African people (like most Tunisians) until I realized I'm one of them and that I'm African too. We had so much in common and I enjoyed hearing their stories and sharing mine.
I came across it when Aya posted it on her page, and when I read the description of the program...
I felt like I needed this program because I was in a bad space; I just graduated recently, was not sure of what to do next, and was feeling down because of all of the stress that I endured throughout my studies, and so on and on. So I applied and got accepted...
I wanted to gain a lot from the program, by that I mean I had the chance to be mentored by an amazing activist and leader, all I needed was to focus and work on myself in order to benefit from the mentorship...
If it wasn’t for this program I would have still being lazy, depressed and lacking energy, now I am an energetic active person who is full of determination.
I had the urge of continuously developing myself, Y-PHEM offered that opportunity and much more, despite the fact that it came in a very busy phase in my life, I wanted to do so many things and I did not know from where to start, so I thought the Mentoring program would help.
We had to complete some assignments on time which was challenging when it comes to time-management, but very rewarding from development perspective. In a world where outwardly every piece of information can be Googled, there is still some knowledge that can only be gained through experience and integration.
Y-PHEM brought us to work side by side with decision makers, chairwoman/chairmen and organizations delegates to discuss and solve major youth/society issues.I encourage everyone to apply for the Program because there’s a lot to learn from Aya and AYM, it was a life-changing experience, Y-PHEM2017 was definitely a success.
I wanted to make some changes in my life and to get out of my comfort zone so I decided to enroll in Aya’s program. This mentorship allowed me to reflect on myself and to widen my perspective through the monthly assignments we had to fill.
It also gave me the opportunity to meet inspiring African activists during African Union Commission Consultation, Aya nominated me for. Interacting with Aya was very informative.
She is a role model and a great leader. She doesn’t give you ready answers but she pushes you to find your own voice and to shape your own path by giving valuable advice and feedback.
During this couple of months, I realized that my voice matters and that my contribution is needed. As a result, my vision of how I can make a difference has become more clear and I feel more empowered
My experience with Y-Phem was amazing! I would highly recommend it to everyone. It was the kind of support I needed exactly at this time of my life. I might not know where I want to be yet but I know that I’m on my way. This journey with Y-Phem program helped me to find that way. So grateful.
Ahmedaeie Belgouthi– Tunisia- 21 Years Old
Ahmed is a third-year undergraduate student In the Higher Institute of Industrial Management (ISGIS), studying Management of industrial systems and expected to graduate in June 2018.
Ahmed is a founding member of “the wonder club”, as representative within the Administration and responsible for public relations. Last summer Ahmed worked for Bio-Life Corporation, by having an integral role in the planning for further strategies, he gained a comprehensive overview of different organization’s facilities and their interactions.
Outside of work and academics, Ahmed attended several youth empowerment workshops such as “American corner’s youth weekly inspirational talk”, several youth movements and protests organized by the students Union claiming for student rights.
Ahmed joined Y-PHEM programme, she says because “turning 21, I think it is time for me to look forward and aim for bigger goals and dreams.
Looking up some people on social media (e.g Aya Chebbi, Mahmoud Kaba), who have been able to help changing the world for the best, I want to follow their lead, hoping to achieve what they already achieved in their career”
Arij Hamouda – Tunisia- 17 Years Old
Arij is a teenager still searching for her place in the world. This year is her graduation year at high school. She’s a Bookworm who loves Physics and History and has always known herself to be an idealistic academic at heart.
As an African Arab, her biggest hope is to preserve her identity and her country‘s culture in today’s overly-globalized world.
Arij firmly believes that everyone is problematic in his/her own way but acknowledging that, is the bravest choice one could make.
Arij joined Y-PHEM, she says because “ I’m going to graduate from school, this program could really help me find out what I truly want to do I have always been interested in activism but back then it felt more like a very huge thing to tackle”
Basma Yahya- Egypt – 21 Years Old
Basma is a fifth-year medical student at Al-Azhar University of Cairo. She is a proudly Egyptian, passionate about community service and social work. Basma believes than she can do more than being a student.
She is an active member of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA). Currently, she is working as Public Relations Director at IFMSA-Egypt.
Basma believes that she can make this world a better place, and to do so, she is trying to be the change she wants to see in the world.
Basma joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “I’m losing passion in life, I don’t wanna lose hope. I need this opportunity so much”
Feriel Arbi- Tunisia- 22 Years Old
Feriel has bachelor’s degree in Science since 2014. She pursued her studying in private health college majoring in Anesthesiology Resuscitation. Besides, she has two certificates in First aid (BLS provider & BLS instructor).
Feriel is a member Tunisian Ambassador for Development (TAD), a student member in Association Tunisienne des Technisiens en Anesthésie -Réanimation (ATTAR) as well as a founding member of the Leo Club Archons and previously the Interact Club Inner City.
In 2013, Feriel was selected for the women2women America international leadership program. She is an Instagram empowerment blogger and a feminist. In the past few years, she participated in different workshops and conferences about youth and leadership such as “Youth speak forum Tunisia” and “Youth under construction workshop”. She had a training in Environmental Activism and Human Rights.
Feriel joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “I have been looking forever for a mentor. As I graduated college, I have more time to focus on deepening my leadership skills and learning more about how to get involved in my community.
I want to find inner peace and know more about meditation, reflections, and positivity. I have been following Aya Chebbi a long time on Facebook and honestly, she is a great role model for females out there and for African girls.
I’m so impressed about what she has done and what she keeps doing so far.”
Maroi ECH-CHARKAOUY – Morocco – 24 Years Old
Maroi holds a Masters Degree in Translations and looking forward to applying for her Ph.D. Along with her studies, she is an active member in civil society.
She received three Youth Passes from different projects within the ERASMUS+ that specializes in Social Entrepreneurship and Refugees/Immigrants. She also received training in Citizen Journalism from both Globalgirl Media and Yala School of Citizen Journalism.
Maroi is a project coordinator in the Mediterranean Youth Forum and GlobalGirl Media Morocco. She was the chapter coordinator of Yala Young Leaders in Morocco where she helped trained youth from the MENA region in citizen journalism. Maroi is a peace activist and has taken part in many peace and religions’ dialogue with Yala Young Leaders, The Muslim Jewish Conference and Mimouna association. She is working on starting her own association in Morocco which will focus on Youth and Women.
Maroi joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “ I have been following Aya Chebbi’s story, activities and achievements for some time now, and I truly believe that she is one of the best African youth as she works very hard to make African youth voices heard, this is why I am looking forward to learn from her and be mentored by her on so many subjects that I benefit from and later share them with the youth of my community”
Rawand Boussama – Tunisia- 22 Years Old
I am studying Bachelor of Business administration in Tunis Business School, majoring Marketing, and minoring Business analytics.
I like being active, I was member and volunteer in different associations as I participated also in different competition. I attempt to travel the world after my graduation so I can be the best version of me and to find my inner peace so I can be the best businesswoman.
Rawand joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “Since my young age I was dreaming to be a successful businesswoman and I have always been an excellent student. Day after day, I have lost the brightness that used to shine from my eyes, my heart and my soul.
I am feeling lost and that’s why I need this program, I want to get back the fighter girl inside me, the girl who never feared big dream, the girl who always believed in herself”
Richard Kweitsu – Ghana/UK – 26 Years Old
Richard is a Mo Ibrahim Scholar at the University of Birmingham pursuing MSC International Development (Governance and State Building).
He had his undergraduate degree at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. After his undergraduate studies, he worked for a year as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of History and Political Studies at KNUST.
He is a founding member and the first president of Ada Students Union, a non-profit, voluntary association of young tertiary students from his District who are using their rare privilege of attaining higher education to inspire the upcoming generation.
Richard joined Y-PHEM programme, he says because: “of Aya Chebbi. I have been following her progress for some time now and she is someone I really admire. I have no doubt her mentorship will equip me with the needed confidence I need to move on to the next stage of my career.
She is fearless, confident and inspirational. As an activist myself, I believe I have to learn from people who have excelled successfully in this field, and I believe this particular program offers me just that.
Moreover, this is the most intensive, one on one mentorship I have come across and I believe the end result of this program will be far more effective than any other.”
Sara Monica Leon Ulloa – Nepal – 19 Years Old
Sara Leon is a Peruvian young woman, born in Lima. Currently, she is in her way to become a scientist. Sara comes from a low-income family and currently lives with them. She has two younger siblings, a religious mother, and a non-religious father.
About her studies, she finished High School in 2016. Her interests vary from STEM topics to writing and diplomacy. In 2016, her academic objective was to become a computer scientist and to work on quantum computers, the development of its applications and a research focused on predictions of virus mutations and natural disasters.
Sara is passionate about improving the global climate model by studying climate change and earth life. When she was in High School, Sara participated in two international science camps. These activities helped her to expand her horizon of goals as influenced on her current academic objective.
Sara joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “I am in my starting point and not have a clear view yet. To be honest, I feel somehow eager to give the best of me on everything I will decide to do but sometimes I don’t know why I feel scared of failing. Knowing Aya Chebbi history on social work and media inspires me.
I think she is a good-hearted person and a strong female as well. I choose this program because her hard work encourages me to do better and because you included the word ”revolutionary” in the motto of this program”
Safa Dhawadi Safa Dhawadi – Tunisia- 17 Years Old Safa is an aspiring activist, a scout leader, and the ambassador of LDA Tunisia. Safa loves volunteering to help her community and the people around her. She enjoys reading books, camping and everything that has to do with adventures. Safa joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “I feel like in this part of my life, having a real mentor can be extremely useful because they already tried and walked a path that I may want to try. I feel a little bit lost sometimes and I start questioning my educational choices and worry too much. My father is dead and I am guided by my mother but learning from a person like Ms.Chebbi would be wonderful. She is a successful brave person and I consider her as a role model. Like that famous militant from South Africa said: “she will not only shape the future of Tunisia but will shape the future of Africa”.
Safa Dhawadi – Tunisia- 17 Years Old
Safa is an aspiring activist, a scout leader, and the ambassador of LDA Tunisia.
Safa loves volunteering to help her community and the people around her. She enjoys reading books, camping and everything that has to do with adventures.
Safa joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “I feel like in this part of my life, having a real mentor can be extremely useful because they already tried and walked a path that I may want to try.
I feel a little bit lost sometimes and I start questioning my educational choices and worry too much. My father is dead and I am guided by my mother but learning from a person like Ms.Chebbi would be wonderful.
She is a successful brave person and I consider her as a role model. Like that famous militant from South Africa said: “she will not only shape the future of Tunisia but will shape the future of Africa”.
Zeinab Salah Kabiel – Egypt- 24 Years Old
Zeinab studied Business Administration majoring in Finance at The American University in Cairo (AUC). She also had a minor in Psychology where she developed an interest in Community Psychology and Social Entrepreneurship.
She currently works as a marketing specialist in Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation. Zeinab has worked as a research assistant at the AUC. She has also participated as a trainer in a project that enhances occupational success for lower income individuals hosted by the non-profit organization “Alashanek Ya Balady for Sustainable Development”.
Moreover, Zeinab was a field/Local coordinator in U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative in Suez, Egypt. She has also participated in different conferences and leadership programs abroad to boost her skills and knowledge like “Preparing Global Leaders Academy” in Jordan, and “The Global Engagement Summit” in the U.S. She was also selected to be one of the Sawiris Scholars to participate in an exchange program at The University of Chicago for one year.
Zeinab joined Y-PHEM, she says because: “ This is the perfect timing for such program. After I graduated a year ago exactly, I found myself lost. It is as if you were learning how to swim in a pool while sticking to the walls and then all of a sudden you were thrown into a sea and left to swim!
I became overwhelmed with so many things that I end up sometimes doing nothing. I need someone to mentor me, someone to listen and provide insights from an expert. I want to equip myself with many skills. I hope I find some guidance here!”