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5 Minutes with Aisha Hassan

Aisha Hassan is the current president of PTPI’s St. Louis, MO Student Chapter. She recently attended our Global Youth Forum (GYF) in Washington, DC, and wrote to tell us her experience

5 Minutes with Aisha Hassan

Aisha with fellow PTPI Student Chapter member Karolina, who traveled from Poland to attend the GYF.
Aisha with fellow PTPI Student Chapter member Karolina, who traveled from Poland to attend the GYF.
Every year around July, I receive many emails about a conference that PTPI holds called the GYF. Not until this year had I taken interest in finding out more about this conference. So in my last year as PTPI President, with the persuasion of the former PTPI youth coordinator, I decided that I would attend my first GYF.

Scholarships were offered to attend the program, so I applied because I knew that I would not be able to attend otherwise. Once I was informed that I had received the scholarship I was ecstatic, but unsure what to expect. I assumed that PTPI members from all over the world would meet and discuss how to conquer the barriers of global education. Don’t get me wrong, I had made quite an educated hypothesis, but holistically I was incorrect.

From day one, I was drawn into the GYF by guest speaker Dr. Tererai Trent. I had heard many inspirational stories before, but by far her story was the most impactful. It made me reflect not only on my community, but also on myself. I do not usually self-reflect because of stories I hear but Dr. Trent connected with me, and I am sure many other listeners, when she spoke. Afterwards, we met with our delegation groups to discuss our insights and thoughts. In many of the discussions, I kept quiet and listened. Not because I had nothing to say, but instead to grasp an understanding of the intelligent young women in my group.

I am not usually the type to sit back and listen, I am usually the one who continuously speaks; but during those moments I felt that listening was as important as speaking. I limited my speech as I feared losing an opportunity to understand. Listening allowed me to internally gain a better understanding of the ideas discussed and to discover how alike we all were. In my group discussions, I completed one of the most important steps to achieving global peace. To not just hear but to listen, because listening leads to understanding, which then leads to tolerance.

In all, this conference gave me reassurance that my actions, regardless of how small, make an impact in the world. I try to give back to my community and many others do as well. Although there was a greatly diverse group of individuals attending the conference, we all shared at least one thing in common: the hope of gaining Peace through Understanding. We were all willing to dedicate our time for the well-being of others. If only we could spread this mentality throughout the world, we could someday achieve global peace.

As I reflected on the broad impact of the program, I noticed how this program had internally changed me. The advancement- economically, politically, socially, technologically, and especially academically- of society is my life. I have found my passion, my battery that keeps me going. GYF can help you discover your passion, your personality, your identity. Everyone should give GYF a chance because there is absolutely nothing to lose. You can only gain knowledge and experience.
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