Tahirah grew up in a community where inequity, police violence, and a lack of community resources were all part of her reality. Without adequate support and positive role models, many of the young people in that environment became susceptible to violence and drug abuse.
With the opportunities the YMCA Greater Toronto offered she was able to break free from a cycle of poverty and violence that impacts the lives of so many youth in Toronto.
As one of 10 children from a single parent family, she really appreciated and benefited from the subsidized membership that her mother obtained through the YMCA Greater Toronto. Tahirah discovered a new world that shaped her to become the young community leader she is today.
Through the YMCA Camps/Outdoor Education program, Tahirah found positive influence in a safe and nurturing environment. As a result, she learned much more than outdoor skills but the ability and strength to make the right decisions growing up in her challenging neighborhood.
Eventually she accomplished the seemingly impossible. With the support of staff at YMCA she developed a unique project called “Theatre for Peace”, which she is now running in her community. The project offers young people an opportunity to express themselves positively through the performing arts to combat youth violence.