Mithela has always been a Changemaker. But, it was at 18 that her parents allowed her to start her first big project. Her organization Power to Bloom works with young people in schools. They spend a year working with students in 6th to 10th grade to address topics that are important to the students. These topics range from Mental Health problems to social relationships and social taboos, to name just a few. It is about giving them a forum to talk about what their life is like.

While Mithela was in her early teens she the faced problems and challenges of being a teenager.As were most of her peers. She felt it was hard to talk about these issues with the people around her. It was even harder to talk to adults who would treat certain subjects as taboo. There was no system to answer the questions that a young adult needs to ask and no forum to discuss how they felt. This experience and a desire to open dialogue between different people led to her founding Power to Bloom.

There are many challenges for a small organization like MIthela’s. These challenges range from funding, to communicating why an organization of this type is needed to other NGOs. Because of this she relies heavily on the contributions of her family and volunteers to run the organization. She is also open to the need for more resources and more research to help grow the knowledge that informs the organizations projects. She openly admits there is little research and data on the emotional challenges faced by teenagers in Bangladesh. She has learnt that reputation is important and schools often are less interested in small organizations.

Despite the challenges Mithela has been able to work with 6,000 children with her independent volunteer projects in 15 schools. She has worked with an additional 900 with Power to Bloom. This is no small achievement.

She sees a future where children have access to counseling in school. This is one of the core goals of her work. She also wants Power to Bloom to become involved in research. Addressing the gap in knowledge about the experience of adolescents in Bangladesh. This will help schools and NGOs to work with children more effectively. She hopes that the information learned from this will be able to be used by others and internationally.

Her message is to love the work you do. Mithila ends by saying, ‘At one point, social change will happen. One just needs to keep working, and not stop. The future is bright if you keep moving forward.’

Mithela has always been a Changemaker. But, it was at 18 that her parents allowed her to start her first big project. Her organization Power to Bloom works with young people in schools. They spend a year working with students in 6th to 10th grade to address topics that are important to the students. These topics range from Mental Health problems to social relationships and social taboos, to name just a few. It is about giving them a forum to talk about what their life is like.

While Mithela was in her early teens she the faced problems and challenges of being a teenager.As were most of her peers. She felt it was hard to talk about these issues with the people around her. It was even harder to talk to adults who would treat certain subjects as taboo. There was no system to answer the questions that a young adult needs to ask and no forum to discuss how they felt. This experience and a desire to open dialogue between different people led to her founding Power to Bloom.

There are many challenges for a small organization like MIthela’s. These challenges range from funding, to communicating why an organization of this type is needed to other NGOs. Because of this she relies heavily on the contributions of her family and volunteers to run the organization. She is also open to the need for more resources and more research to help grow the knowledge that informs the organizations projects. She openly admits there is little research and data on the emotional challenges faced by teenagers in Bangladesh. She has learnt that reputation is important and schools often are less interested in small organizations.

Despite the challenges Mithela has been able to work with 6,000 children with her independent volunteer projects in 15 schools. She has worked with an additional 900 with Power to Bloom. This is no small achievement.

She sees a future where children have access to counseling in school. This is one of the core goals of her work. She also wants Power to Bloom to become involved in research. Addressing the gap in knowledge about the experience of adolescents in Bangladesh. This will help schools and NGOs to work with children more effectively. She hopes that the information learned from this will be able to be used by others and internationally.

Her message is to love the work you do. Mithila ends by saying, ‘At one point, social change will happen. One just needs to keep working, and not stop. The future is bright if you keep moving forward.’

If you or someone you know is, like Mithela, making a big or small change in their community, and is between the ages of 12 and 20, then get them to apply for Ashoka’s Youth Venture program. Apply here.

Written  - Maesha Rashedin
Edited - Jake Smaje

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