Two people from Leeds are recognised for commitment to their work at regional Asian Young Achiever awards

Two people from Leeds have been shortlisted at the Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever Awards.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:45 am

Sonia Hunjan, aged 23, is shortlisted for the award for Overcoming Life Obstacles award. She has the degenerative eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa and started ‘The Blind Reader’ blog to help raise awareness.

Mohammed Noman Samir, also 23 and from Leeds, is shortlisted for the Education award thanks to his passionate about raising awareness of higher education.

The duo are among 33 finalists who have been short-listed across 11 categories.

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Leeds blogger Sonia Hunjan.

Last year was the first year of the event, which had to be cancelled due to the first Covid-19 lockdown and staged as an online event instead.

This year's ceremony will be live and in front of an invited audience of more than 250 guests at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford, on Thursday November 4.

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, founder and chief executive of QED Foundation, which came up with and organises the YAYAs, said there had been an amazing raft of entries from Keighley to Rotherham.

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Mohammed Noman Samir.

“The quality of entries from across Yorkshire has been fabulous and the stories of all those shortlisted are inspirational and, in many cases, moving and humbling. Many of the candidates have overcome great obstacles to achieve what they have and it’s wonderful to be able to share their stories with a wider audience and shine a light that highlights young people and their

successes and achievements in such a positive way.”

The YAYAs are open to any young person of South Asian heritage (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi etc) who was born in, or lives and works in, Yorkshire.

They are aimed at those socially-mobile young achievers who have overcome deprivation and disadvantage or have broken through traditional barriers to progress and have the potential to be role models who can inspire others to follow them.

The award categories include Achievement in School or College; Health/Mental Health and Healthcare; The Arts & Creative industries; the Private Sector; Media; Education; the Public Sector; the Not-for-Profit Sector; Sport; Achievement as a Young Entrepreneur; and Achievement in Overcoming Life Obstacles.

They will culminate in the award of the overall Young Achiever of the Year 2021 title.

Last year’s title was won by Mohammed Ali Hussain, aged 20, a Hull University student who went into the care system at just 18 months’ old and is now studying to become a professor of astro-physics.

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