top of page

Embracing Dreams: A Journey of Empowerment & Transformation -Sonia Selwin


     On May 11, 2023, I had so many feelings! It was then that I was invited to the British Parliament in London to receive the prestigious Award for Excellence in Global Education, Business, and Advancement from the World Tamil Organization – UK!  The event celebrated individuals who made remarkable contributions to education through research and international work. I thank God for using me to help the underprivileged.

    It was certainly a long way from my upbringing where I often questioned Why am I so different from everyone else? My features look different, and I can’t even speak the language fluently in India where I was raised. My dad is a principal and my mother a teacher in the Seventh-Day Adventist system, so we move often.  Plus we are poor, existing in India in a lower caste.

    You see, I was born to a mixed-race Indian couple. My father is of Dravidian heritage, while my mother is of Mongolian heritage.  No matter where we lived, I was odd and I felt it! Plus I was a girl, another disadvantage in India, where boys are valued more than girls, and eventually I was raised by a single parent.

     Early in my life, I was determined to accomplish three things: get the best education I could, pursue success, and nurture a continuing spiritual life. Also I asked myself, “What is God’s purpose in creating me in this world?” When I reflected on this, I realized that God has allowed me to go through all my life’s experiences and successes so that I could provide service to the underprivileged. I have pursued all my education to this end. I have been ambitious!  Currently I am undertaking a Post Doctorate at Andrews University in Leadership.

     My expertise lies in education, particularly in fostering holistic development at both personal and professional levels, in entrepreneurship, business management, employability, leadership, personal and workplace spirituality for improved service, healthy living and mental well-being.

     Over the past 22 years, Divine Providence has placed me in roles that enabled me to support the underprivileged across India, Bahrain and the US. For instance, in India, I supported undergraduate girls at Lady Doak Women’s College through the development of systematic learning approaches, fostering connections with real-world businesses through internships, practical assignments, and research projects.  Plus God helped me establish a platform for students to engage with women entrepreneurs in villages, facilitating learning and support while accumulating credits for their entrepreneurship course. Additionally, my contributions extended to supporting underserved women and those from marginalized rural communities, imparting entrepreneurial training and English language skills. I also launched the first exhibition for women entrepreneurs on the college campus by collaborating with the Women Empowerment Department, a legacy that continues even after my departure from India.

     Later on, I joined the Bahrain Training Institute, a Government Institution with a predominant community of Shia Muslims. Pioneering a historic initiative within the institution, I organized the first research conferences and symposiums, which ignited enthusiasm among numerous lecturers from these ethnic backgrounds to delve into research and publication endeavors. Moreover, I extended encouragement to the students to embark on entrepreneurship by initiating their small businesses as part of their coursework. Their products were exhibited within the college campus, fostering a tangible platform for their entrepreneurial ventures.

     Upon arriving in the United States, I became aware of the pressing needs of the underprivileged, encompassing women, individuals with cognitive and physical challenges, minorities, veterans, and more. This realization prompted me to conduct research related to this group and to initiate a non-profit entity named People Empowerment Alliance for Creativity & Education (PEACE). Today, PEACE is actively making a difference by extending training in entrepreneurial skills and digital marketing to hundreds of women and underprivileged individuals in India, while also providing seed funds to catalyze business initiation and growth within the disadvantaged community. In tandem with my post-doctoral studies, I've undertaken diverse research endeavors, encompassing women leaders in the church and the sphere of entrepreneurship within the underprivileged communities in the US.

     I've invested personal time in individually aiding hundreds of underprivileged individuals, offering counsel, spiritual guidance, prayer, and mentorship for those pursuing PhDs. Furthermore, I've engaged in activities encompassing depression support, employability skills development, and training for nonprofits to inculcate religious and spiritual values for holistic service. My commitment to service has found a structured outlet through my role as the Women's Ministries Director at HopeSide Community Church, concurrently providing support to other non-profit initiatives.

    If you don’t yet know your purpose in God's work, don’t worry. I found it helpful to claim His promise, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths.”  Prov. 3:5-6(NIV)

    Begin with really thinking about your dreams. Craft a well-thought-out plan and write your aspirations onto paper. I distinctly recall writing my ambitions and desires from during my college days.

     Prioritize three goals, steadfastly engaging with them each day. Above all, place your trust in God, maintaining a steadfast belief that your requests are already granted.

     In the face of life's adversities, remain undeterred, for God's mastery can transform negatives into affirmative outcomes.

     Release the grip of the painful past and move forward, as placing trust in God can unveil a multitude of opportunities.

     Give your utmost effort to even the smallest tasks, enabling yourself to manage larger responsibilities with confidence. 

     Embrace continuous learning; heed the counsel of those in the past who have studied and shared life’s wisdom.

     Prioritize God in all your endeavors, and you’ll find your aspirations falling into place harmoniously.



87 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

EndItNow

Comments


bottom of page