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54-05 Seabury
Contact Name:
Asad Naqvi
Contact Email:
Program Description:
SAYA!'s mission is to create opportunities for South Asian youth to realize their fullest potential. We deliver culturally sensitive services and support to help make this mission a reality. In 1996, Sayu Bhojwani, SAYA!'s founder, stepped onto a public basketball court in Elmhurst, Queens. She met a handful of South Asian young men and realized the lack of resources for youth like them. Later Sayu met five young women, ages 14 to 17, who attended Newtown High School. Two of the young women were married and one was being raised by a single mother. Within a few months, the newly-rented space was filled with South Asian youth from across Queens, and as far as Brooklyn and the Bronx. Arts and leadership-building became avenues for youth to explore race, gender, class, and ethnic identity. Enrichment ensures that youth receive a well-rounded education by having the opportunity to participate in artistic expression, sports, and wellness programming unavailable in schools. Youth will develop goal-setting, team work, and conflict negotiation skills as well as increase self-esteem and technique through their participation in piano, poetry writing, music production, Bollywood dance, and chess.