youth initiative

After hossting succesful yearly forums and monthly events, OPEN broadened it's events to include a yearly Women forum and a dedicated Youth track.  Other then professional development and learning from experts, a core focus of the events was to help mentor youth through peer to peer networking.  After the success of the first Youth track, an annual Youth Open Forum was initiated which saw a large particpation from local youth. At OPEN’s 2013 youth forum, the idea of having a youth Initiative where the youth form their own board materialized. Several youth submitted their interest to serve on a youth board.  Soon the youth board members were selected and today they help run the successful youth track and Youth Forum at Open SV. Many of these initiatives were spear headed by Reshma Hyder who is also leading the 2014 youth board and forum. Reshma is the Chair of the youth board of advisors at OPEN SV.

This year, the youth board hosted a youth track alongside the OPEN SV Forum on May 10th which was attended by over 500 guests including over 80 youth. The board moderated and hosted many sessions such as unconventional pathways to success with panelists Wajahat Ali, Zahra Billo and Palash Islam. Another fun and entertaining panel was the youth inventors demo where we had a Lego Mindstorm demo by Shubham Banergee of Braigo, the braille printer and A Ham radio Tweeter by robot inventor Rohan Aggrawal. The Youth initiated an Annual Youth Inventor Award and a Youth Entrepreneur award to both youth. The highlight of the youth track was a speed networking session where adults and youth connected with over 30 people in 30 minutes talking to one person at a time and completing a set of questions given to them.

Earlier in the year, the youth board also attended a panel by Linkedin professionals to help with a digital presence. Zarina Khan from LinkedIn along with her colleagues explained how to improve our online resume and have a star profile.

The Youth Board  met in August for a team building activity around bowling. The members are widely spread across the Bay area and try to meet up as often as possible to maintain a close friendship that makes it possible for them to lead a successful Youth Forum together. They enjoyed bonding and spending time together while discussing the upcoming OPEN youth forum. The key team building activity was to learn summer activities that each member was involved with to update their college apps, design their business cards and forum planning. The Youth and their mentors continue to interact almost daily utilizing social media technology.

Some of our Youth Board members have now gone off to college and are working to promote the OPEN Youth Forum in their respective new cities. Since every year we have seniors on the board, we are constantly on the look out for new youth to join our board at the Youth Forum. We will be accepting applicants at the Youth Forum who’d want to join our fun youth team! For more questions, feel free to contact Youth Chair Reshma Hyder, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OPEN SV is excited to announce that a Youth Group of Advisers has been formed and the members of the youth board are listed below. This group is charged with designing, planning and executing the youth events in 2014. We sought and received nominations from the larger OPEN SV community for positions in this group of advisers and received multiple nominations of individual youth OPEN members, every one of whom is an up and coming leader in their own right.

Omar Raza

Shahrbano Syed

Shehzil Shah

Ashab Siddiqui

Shanzay Kazmi
Areeba Yasin
Laila Talpur
Shanzeh Shunaid
Mahnoor Yunus
Samreen Imran
Zahir Mirza

Omar Raza

Junior at Averroes High School – Fremont
Student at Mission College - Santa Clara taking applied and computational mathematics courses.
Volunteer work: Donation collection desk - Muslim Community Association of San Francisco Bay Area (MCA), Santa Clara
Former President: Averroes Institute Student Council
Public Speaker on behalf of AmericanMuslim Voice (AMV) make presentations at Churches, Synagogues, and San Jose State University

Shahrbano Syed

Current 8th grade student at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton
Groups and Societies: Participated in leadership opportunities through community and school. SHS Student Council member in 2012. Lead SHS community service efforts. This year, she is taking a Law and Government elective and has participated in debates on Constitutional questions, from Stanford Law School to San Diego's Grossmont College.
Volunteer work: Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, tutoring young children in their homework.
Interests: Cross country, Various other sports, Fashion design.

Shehzil Shah

Honors Student at Kennedy High in Fremont.
Internships: Interned at Aahung, an NGO in Karachi for 2 months in summer of 2013.
Volunteer work: Hidaya, Second Chance, Salvation Army, DIL, Agha Khan Foundation, Brier Elementary, Washington Hospital.
Other Interests: Girl scout (2005-present), President PACC at school, Publicist for 540 club, Youth and Government, Badminton

Ashab Siddiqui

9th Grader at Mission San jose High in Fremont.
Awards and Societies: Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, Member of Green Club, Boy Scout member,Finance Chairman and founding member of the West Coast Chapter of Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).
Organizer camp fire program for Annual Muslim Camporee.
Volunteer work: OPEN SV, Various community events

Shanzay Kazmi

Student at Notre Dame High.
Cofounder of organization: Powerful Women (www.powerfulwomenpowwow.weebly.com)
Volunteer Work: Village Center Silver Creek, Sehr Garage School, Habitat for Humanity, Lowell Elementary, Various community organizations.
Other: Kiva Youth Leader

Areeba Yasin

Currently in 8th grade. WEB LEADER and participates in public speaking at school. Nominated to attend Summer Math & Science Scholarship Program in Stanford University.
Volunteer work: Actively volunteers at community events and OPEN SV.

Laila Talpur

Dean’s list student at San Mateo College. Member of Honor’s Society and Alpha Gamma Sigma.
Has created multiple video projects for Human rights committee.
Managing editor and photographer for Honor’s society newsletter.
Internships: Finance internship at FreeMonee Network Inc.
Volunteer work: OPEN SV

Shanzeh Shunaid

Currently a junior at Los Altos High School. Moved from Pakistan to the Bay area in 2012.
Volunteer work: DIL, OPEN SV.
Has also volunteered at Fakhre Imdad village
Internships: ARCOP, architectural firm based in Pakistan and Canada.
Other interests: Part of varsity school swim team and has participated in national and in-state competitions throughout the year.

Mahnoor Yunus

Student at University Prep Academy.
Internship: Law offices of Hazel Marinero
Senior Project: “New Legislation Giving Hope to Immigrant Families to Pursue the American Dream through Higher Education”
Honors and Awards: High School Golden Eagle Honors list, National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars
Volunteer Work: Sunrise Village Abode Shelter, Supportive Family Services, OPEN SV

Samreen Imran

Junior at Pioneer High school
Awards and Societies: National Honor Society, Service Learning group, Murder Mock trial team
Other: No. 1 Varsity badminton player representing her school.
Volunteer work: OPEN SV Youth, Various elementary schools

Zahir Mirza

Graduated 6 months early (Dec. 2013) from Pathways iCare Charter School (Rocklin) and currently taking college credit classes at Sierra College.
Groups and Societies: Lead Site Counsel at school, Student Representative
Volunteer work: Various community organizations in Sacramento area.

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Here is what we were looking for:

The nominated member must be a current student of an accrediated institution located in the larger Bay Area, and both the nominated and the nominating party should be OPEN SV members (Charter, General or Student). We will look for 2-3 hours of participation (calls, logistics and event organizations) per week from the young volunteer and there will be a once a month planning meeting for youth events where the advisers will be expected to participate in person. The board members will be responsible for planning and executing on events for youth in the entire Bay Area and will have the mentorship opportunities on offer from OPEN SV Executive Committee and Charter Members. This board will be active for one year, after which, new nominations will be sought and the process described above will be followed, unless changed by OPEN SV Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. Adviser is a volunteer position and will be occupied by the nominated member of OPEN for the period of one year starting in Jan 2014. For any questions, please contact Shahab Riazi via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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