And then, um, around the time that I graduated from high school and during undergraduate and graduate school, then it was a, a bit more frequent. You know, we were comfortable then and uh, we were able, I was able to travel by myself and um, we went every two years or so. And you know, I took them all over South India to, to travel and to see the different temples, which was a very, um, unique experience that I’m, I’m glad I got to do with them before my grandmother passed. Uh, in the recent years, it has not been too often. Um, I have two young kids, so to try to work it with school schedules is, is very di- very difficult. So we’ve only gone once, I think, in the last 10 years, unfortunately.
And that’s, that was kind of my right angle of, “Okay, maybe I should go pursue this and figure out where my place in this space industry would be.” I still love Star Trek.
So if we can, you know, support getting to that stage, I think we’ll see a huge benefit from it that we’re not necessarily able to see, to see right now.  And, uh, so I’m right now in the supervisor position. So I have hiring authority, but from my perspective, like there are some basic qualifications to hire into my group. And by the time you get to that, like the, the pipeline just gets so small. By the time you can get to, to hiring to my group, if you need a PhD, I can’t make the job not need a PhD in that discipline. Right? So it’s a matter of keeping women or keeping minorities through the pipeline long enough to, such that there is enough of a pool at that final stage to hire into these professions. ‘Cause if they drop out, you know, at every, every sector, right, they drop out by not taking the classes in high school, they drop out by not going into the fields in undergrad, they drop out by not pursuing it for graduate school and going into, you know, business or econ and something instead. So by the time you get to my level of someone who wants to hire to get a diverse group, the, the candidate pool is just not large enough to be, be, to be selectable.
Uh, the one that it did go viral for it was a guy like sitting two rows back because he had a Mohawk, you know, and that was new and interesting for the internet to see at, at, uh, a JPL mission control room. So it was quite a surprise that it went that, um, that viral. And I, I only watched the video feed of the landing, um, just a month ago when we had our, our six month landing-versary. And that was the first time I actually saw it. I had kind of, still was in a little bit of trauma and hadn’t been able to watch the whole thing through. Um, but that was when I realized, like, how much it was focused on me ’cause that’s not what it felt like for me in mission control. I had, um, so many people like talking into my ear, uh, constantly calling out exactly what had happened that I was repeating on, you know, on the, the mission commentary side that, um, it, there were, there were so many voices in my head that were going on that it, it definitely didn’t feel like a one man show, but the way they, uh, they cut it in that sense, it, it sounded very much like a, a one person show, which it, it was not.
So I never https://homeloansplus.org/payday-loans-il/ even applied to any, um, positions ’cause I kind of convinced myself that, “No, no you better off going here ’cause you’re better at that” as opposed to, to even trying to, you know, to see if I would’ve, could have done it.
So, uh, just a little bit blurb on how I actually got involved in this IVLP Program, um, we received an email from the U.S. Consulate office here in Vancouver, um, talking about, “Is anybody in your community interested in taking exchange programs?” and what it entails and what you can benefit out of it. So at that time, I was the Vice President of Youth Development Services and um, our head office brought this email from the Consulate office. So, um, the President of our organization got a hold of it. And I said, “Hey, you know what? Um, I would be interested in it.” Then our Executive said, “Hey, listen, you’re at the top of the pedestal. You should be giving everyone else a chance before you can go.” Right? So I said, “Okay, that’s fair.”
And I, I was just mind blown that this is happening here and, uh, what people went through, um, our First Nations there. And that was something that I could connect with, because it’s happening at home. So then, that’s when I started to realize, hey, you know what, this, this is a big melting pot of cultures.
So I had to pitch this to my executives in my association. And the first time, it got shot down – that, “oh, we’re gonna get women jumping around in the mosque, trying to learn how to fight,” but they didn’t understand because this is a new concept. They did not know that this is something that’s needed, but when we went the second time to preach it to them, they said, okay, let’s try it. We tried it. 120 women attended, um, that session over six weeks. And, and it was so, um, so mesmerizing to see 120 women, uh, well, I wasn’t allowed to be there because it was all women, but the, the, the gist that I get from it is that all of these women were so empowered, right?
So I think 50% of combating Islamophobia is our responsibility as Muslims, our responsibility as global leaders, we need to show the beauty and what, what our religion is all about and how it intertwines with the everyday occurrences of everyone else that we have here.
Some of the strong things I think leaders need to have is patience, understanding, compassion, and, um, love what you do. You know, love what you do.
So when I used to fly, I used to observe the fact that people are just drawn by the same emotions. You see people hugging and that really gave me a lot of energy, but I used to see people bidding farewell to their friends or family.