After graduating from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in psychological science, Shihani Ghazi began working as a program manager for a clinical counseling agency. She helped develop and implement painting classes, martial arts sessions, and other therapeutic activities for clients of all ages.
Shihani enjoyed planning programs at her job, but didn’t picture herself ever moving into a clinical counselor role. YWCA New Britain’s opening for a Youth Development Assistant Coordinator caught her attention and she took on the position in March 2021 as the next step in her career.
Shihani now spends her mornings planning activities for YWCA’s STRIVE and House of Teens programs, then spends her afternoons at the programs themselves. With a passion for social justice, she has gotten right to work on coordinating important activities for the youth like discussions on gender identity and domestic violence prevention.
Her favorite part of her job is communicating and connecting directly with students every day and being able to teach them about important topics like self-esteem and self-worth. At the same time, Shihani says, she learns just as much from them.
“With social media, teens and preteens have even more pressure to be perfect today," she shared. "It's eye-opening to talk with them and understand what their world looks like.”