Growing up South Asian in New York City is not easy. South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) counsels, teaches, and empowers young people in South Asian communities throughout New York City. We employ a multi-prong understanding and approach to our work.
Leveling the Playing Field
SAYA! provides a model where demography does not dictate a child's future. We level the playing field by taking a comprehensive approach to youth development. This includes academic support, leadership development, arts, sports and counseling. Through culturally sensitive programs, we step in where overcrowded public schools and overburdened immigrant families often do not have the capacity. Our staff are the mentors, teachers, coaches, dance instructors, and counselors for South Asian youth. We give youth the opportunity to maximize their potentials and realize their dreams.
From SAYA!’s roots 16 years ago, our school-based programs have responded to the needs of South Asian youth. Our case managers and social workers have learned first-hand about the academic and social needs of newly immigrated and second generation South Asian youth.
SAYA! is also a gateway for service providers, elected officials, the media and funders looking to learn more about this population. SAYA! leverages these relationships to secure resources, advocate for more afterschool funding, distribute information about student internships and job opportunities, and ultimately serve more South Asian youth.
Changing the Status Quo
When told by guidance counselors to give up on their dreams of higher education, SAYA! steps in by providing a safe space for youth to build their confidence. We are committed to giving youth the skills they need to secure their lives and livelihoods.
Investing and Transforming Futures
We provide personalized attention to help each youth identify their personal and professional goals. We expose youth to careers as corporate attorneys, financial managers, scientists, and artists. This is the first time many youth have sat in a board room, visited a trading floor or walked through a recording studio. We inspire youth to reach for the stars.