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Abbotsford’s Saniya Kashual offering free empowerment workshop

Authour and creator of ‘you are not ugly foundation’ aiming to improve self-image for local youth
Abbotsford’s Saniya Kashual and her non-profit you are not ugly foundation are offering free empowerment courses for youths. (Submitted)

A few short months after launching her “you are not ugly foundation,” Abbotsford’s Saniya Kashual has revealed more plans for her emerging non-profit organization.

The 20-year-old announced she plans to organize workshops for youth around the subjects of self-esteem, mental health, and the weight that words carry.

Kaushal said she also wants to organize programs targeted specifically to students in middle school because based on her own experiences, she believes this is a vulnerable age that shapes self-image for many years growing up.

She added that another goal is to destigmatize mental health and self-esteem struggles in men, so they feel more comfortable opening up and seeking support without the fear of appearing “weak.” Eventually, Kaushal hopes to also develop a social enterprise where individuals who are struggling with their self-esteem can gain confidence by exercising a talent or skill of theirs.

The first workshop will be kicking off in November 2021. According to a press release shared by Kashual, it is a free online four-week self-empowerment program designed to empower participants and prevent labels and self-doubt from interfering with their personal goals and progression.

The registration form is available at It includes a handful of reflective questions to prepare participants for the workshop. Interested participants can also email or direct message @youarenotuglyfoundation on Instagram to receive the link.

RELATED: Abbotsford’s Saniya Kaushal launches you are not ugly foundation

The deadline to complete the form is Oct. 21. People of all ages and sexual identities are invited to participate in the workshop.

The inspiration behind the non-profit and the workshops was the response Kashual received after released her poetry book ‘you are not ugly’ in 2020. The book was dedicated to anyone who has questioned their own worth and it sought to raise awareness about the damage that can be caused by thoughtless behaviours such as insulting appearances, weight-shaming, condescending behaviour, and making racist or homophobic comments.

RELATED: Abbotsford woman releases book of poetry

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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