Hi, I'm Danish. I'm 19, and I'm about to start a big adventure - university in Los Angeles! I am SO excited! This might not seem like a big deal. But it is a very big deal for me because I never imagined this future when I was growing up in India's biggest red light area. My mother was trafficked there at 13 and usually daughters of sex workers also do sex work. I have 3 sisters, and the youngest is deaf/mute. I want to study so none of us have to do sex work. Will you help me get to university?
At the age of 8 I left my mom to live in a shelter. My father died when I was 6, so my mom resumed sex work to feed me and my three sisters, including one who is deaf and mute. From childhood I was told that I should have limited dreams. I wasn't allowed to dream of being a journalist or an actress because my whole life, I was told "a whore's daughter can only become whore." Even my teachers told me this. But this all changed when I joined Kranti, an NGO which empowers daughters of sex workers.
Kranti teaches us to be agents of social change - and happiness. Here I got many opportunities to grow, especially through therapy and travel. Therapy really shaped my life and helped me to come out of the trauma and violence in my past. And thanks to travel, I have another passion too. In 2016 I got scholarship to study in Israel 3 months, and in 2017 I volunteered in Thailand NGO 3 months. Now I want to study psychology to help others heal and change their lives like Kranti changed mine.
I chose this college because I think they value my life and work experience - it is so focused on helping students become compassionate, reflective citizens. I think here I can reach my full potential and have a real impact on other marginalized people after I graduate. But I need your help! I applied for scholarships, but even that won't cover all of my tuition and housing costs. Will you help me fund my studies so I can support my family and also many more marginalized communities??