Aashima was born in India. Her parents moved to Calgary when she was a child with the hopes of having a better life for their small family. She recently completed a degree in Biological Sciences and to become a physician.
Her memories of the various challenges her mother faced drive her to help newcomer women, provide a safe place to share experiences and offer support. Having gone through the post-secondary application procedure herself, Aashima was also aware that getting in universities in Canada can present challenges knowing that the process differed from that in other countries.
In 2020, Aashima started looking for volunteer opportunities at CIWA where she could develop mentoring skills. She wanted to work with immigrant youth to assist them with navigating post-secondary education matters such as deciding on career objectives and going through applications. She then started her role as a Youth Career Mentor with Pathways to Success. Not long after, she discovered New Friends and Neighbourhood Groups and in 2021, she also volunteered at the Youth Summer Camp.
“Through volunteering I have grown and learned in ways that I never could have in a classroom.”
Volunteering helped Aashima improve her communication and interpersonal skills. She has been able to deepen her ability to listen with empathy and provide a space for meaningful conversations. She also appreciates the diversity of ages in the programs. She enjoys volunteering with people from ages 10 to 90 years old, and despite the significant language barrier and age differences, Aashima manages to stir the conversations and run the sessions while ensuring that all other participants are included.
Aashima has been an amazing mentor to both her mentees and co-facilitators. Clients, volunteers, and employees have all found her to be an inspiration. CIWA staff can attest to her development since they commend her for being a good listener and claim she has improved in her ability to simplify her message and communicate with clarity. CIWA staff also praise Aashima’s time management skills. Despite her busy schedule as a student, she always shows up as a volunteer and handles her volunteer responsibilities with ease. She takes pride in being able to remain committed volunteerism and says that she takes her roles very seriously.
When she’s not devoting time to studying or her family, Aashima enjoys exploring new vegan restaurants and recipes. She also hopes to get back into playing field hockey again.