My name is Tasnuva Orchi, and I am a senior at Bronx Science High School. I was a BALI graduate in the year 2013. After BALI, I've become a more active member of my school community so that's why I created and became President of my own club, Philomusici, and mustered up the courage to actively run for school Senate and also Secretary of Amnesty. I'm very thankful that they've all worked out well and I'm very grateful to BALI for providing me with one of the best community support systems I've ever had. I will be attending Princeton University in the fall.
I remember when we had watched the Girl Rising film and everyone in the room couldn't help but start to cry. It was really amazing for me to see so many people unified under one belief. Even though I had participated in many programs before, I had never really experienced so much kindness and understanding in one place.
Another memory that really touched me was that at BALI everyone was very accepting of everyone else's background and culture. BALI happened to fall during Ramadan so while the Muslim participants could not eat; the interns were nice enough to pack us up food to eat. Everyday, I would go home knowing that people cared enough to go as far as to take care of us during what we considered the most religious month of the year.
After graduating BALI, I stayed connected by returning as a 2014 intern as well as attending the Day of the Girl event at the United Nations, supporting a fellow BALI girl at her performance at Carnegie Hall, and assisting BALI staff at the annual fundraiser.
I had always known that I wasn't the most outspoken person, but I had assumed that I was able to express all of my opinions in some way. It wasn't until I became involved with BALI that I realized exactly how much of my potential was being wasted. When I ask those who have known me since I first joined the BALI sisterhood if I had changed, they all mentioned I was quite shy. This was a huge shocker to me because I remember trying very hard to not seem shy. I was amazed that I had come so far in only a few weeks. I had never been around a group of girls who had given each other so much support and advice although they had basically just met. It seemed like I had found my long lost sisters and somehow they were finally able to guide me in the right direction. I must admit, I was relatively uneducated on many women's rights issues. I didn't even notice the prejudices I was facing in my own life because they seemed "normal." At BALI, I felt as if I was finally gaining the knowledge that I had been longing for a while. Although I had initially wanted to participate because of the debate program, which was offered, I enjoyed every single day because of the amazing people I was able to meet and learn from.
For my future goals, I hope that whatever career path I choose to follow will allow me to travel to as many places as possible. I also hope to open up a retirement home for Elderly women in my home country, Bangladesh. It disgusts me how the elderly are treated, especially women, and I want to create a place where they will be treated with the respect they deserve. In the near future I hope to maintain a good GPA and join the Debate team and A Capella group. I've always had a love for instruments so I would love to begin taking professional piano and bass classes. Lastly, I hope I enjoy my journey as I pursue as many of my interests as possible!