Aspire to Inspire: conveying hope

Photo courtesy of 3E Organization

An evening aimed at youth but welcoming all, Aspire to Inspire is The 3E Organization’s second annual youth empowerment event scheduled for Oct. 22.

The group is hoping to encourage collaboration and action among youth by hosting a free evening full of speakers and interaction with other members of the community.

Reaching out to all

Established in 2017, The 3E Organization is a non-profit group that focuses on engaging, enabling and empowering – the three Es – women and youth in our local communities. The group was founded by six members of the Fijian community, who decided to come together after recognizing their shared ideals.

“We were all volunteering at different organizations,” says Sadhana Kumar, co-founder of 3E, “and we realized we had a common goal, and that’s to help those in our community. We all have children – we’re first generation Canadians – so we see the struggles people are going through. We have a lot to share and a lot to learn.”

While they all hail from the same community, the leaders of 3E don’t focus on any specific group or culture. With the Aspire to Inspire event, they hope to reach those from all walks of life.

“When we are volunteering, networking, and living our lives we’re surrounded by diversity,” says Sandhya Prasad, co-founder and executive director of the organization. “We want to give back to everyone who is interested.”

The event will bring in three motivational speakers who will share their journeys and ideas in an interactive way: Rochelle Prasad, an SFU student who co-founded the non-profit organization Camp We Empower; Karima Essa, a local dance instructor and performer; and Paul Nijar, an author and founder of the unique yoga centre Yoga Dojo.

“We like to bring people with different ideas, different mindsets, so we can empower the youth and make sure they know they don’t have to limit themselves to just one thing,” says Kumar.

Resources for all

The three speakers will provide variety in their presentation styles as well. There will be visual aspects to the talks, the chance for some Q&A with the speakers and also a more hands-on part of the night where Essa will do a dance demonstration and help those in attendance to participate as well.

“It’s all about what kind of platform we can bring for the youth,” says Prasad. “We want them to use these speakers as a resource to help get them where they want to go.”

She touches on the core idea behind the organization and events like Aspire to Inspire: providing a resource for people who might not have access to as many, or might not be sure where to look. And the resources are not just for youth. Prasad and Kumar are eager to invite people of any age to listen and engage with the speakers and their stories.

“I’m always trying to bring new faces into the community,” says Prasad. “I will personally be learning and growing as well, just as much as the rest of my team and the youth.”

What Prasad and the rest of The 3E Organization hope the event will convey is that nothing the speakers describe is out of reach for those in attendance.

“These are ordinary, everyday people. They’re not on talk shows; they have normal lives like we do, but they do amazing things… and the things that they do are not beyond anyone,” she says.

For more information, visit or The 3E Organization Facebook page.