SAYA!- South Asian Youth Action

Award Recipients - 2000

Sayu V. Bhojwani, Founder & Director


Sayu V. Bhojawni is the founder of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), a community organization dedicated to empowering South Asian youth.  SAYA! Is a drop-in center that offers programs for youth ages 11 to 19 whose families come from Bangladesh, Guyana, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago.  SAYA! activities include academics and career preparation, leadership and organizing as well as school-based services such as case management and advocacy.  Most participants live in Elmhurst, Queens, and surrounding neighborhoods, and some come from other communities with high South Asian populations such as Flushing, Jamaica and Astoria.  
SAYA! programs build cultural and social awareness about tissues relevant to South Asian teens.  Its programs place young people in decision-making and leadership roles and provide access to academic and employment resources.  The girls’ program offers the opportunity to discuss barriers to their development in the South Asian community and ways to overcome these obstacles.  SAYA! also works directly if four Queens public high schools with growing South Asian populations.  The staff includes two South Asian social workers who provide counseling and advocacy services directly to students and make referrals for legal and other services to partner organizations.

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