Captial Youth Empowerment Programmes new intern – Sumaiya Haque

In Arabic, my last name “Haque,” translates to truth. My whole life I have been searching for my truth and purpose. I am currently a senior studying engineering at Virginia Tech, but I was once an art student. I fuel my curiosity as I conduct system dynamics research with the National Science Foundation and cultivate my creativity during my light night shifts at the flower shop.  All of my diverse and unique experiences have taught me lessons that I am excited to bring to Capital Youth Empowerment as a Communications Intern. 


Capital Youth Empowerment programme helps fathers by aiding them with health, wellness and job skills education, enabling families to thrive. Learn more about us today. 

Throughout my time at Virginia Tech, I had the opportunity to be a scholar of the Calhoun Honors Discovery Program. This program provided a myriad of experiential learning opportunities that have deeply influenced my growth academically, socially, and emotionally. As a part of this program, I have worked on projects ranging from improving economic mobility in Charlotte, North Carolina to implementing a high school STEM program in Newport News and Alexandria, Virginia with fellow scholars from various academic and cultural backgrounds. Currently, as the team leader of Knowledge Unchained, Virginia Tech’s first higher education in prison program, I gained experience communicating my ideas and advocating for what I believed in in circles with differing views. I realized that it was all about a balance of being gentle and understanding of others perspectives, while also being firm, upright, and authentic to my personal mission. In my quest to improve educational opportunities for people in prison, I encountered the reality that not everyone believed that my project was valuable. Immediately, I realized that I had to make them understand how urgent it was to bring postsecondary education to Virginia prisons. Initially, I had to identify our different stakeholders’ perspectives on a personal level in order to craft my communication accordingly. As a result of this whole experience, I learned that if you truly want to convince people of your idea, you need to understand where they are coming from. You need to put yourself in their shoes, even if you disagree with them. This philosophy will guide me in creating blog posts and communication methods that are both aligned with Capital Youth Empowerment’s agenda and unite those with different viewpoints. It taught me how to put the audience first, which I think is critical in writing blog posts.


In this internship, I believe my background in the arts and creative mindset will serve me well. I am eager to experiment with different types of communication and art forms to serve as a voice for Capital Youth Empowerment. Visual communication has the power to bridge the gap between communities, and I truly believe that a picture speaks a thousand words. Inspiring social movements have been sparked by art and poetry throughout history. Using my creative expression skills to capture Capital Youth Empowerment’s mission is something I’m eager to do. To create more captivating stories, I plan to integrate mixed media, different writing styles, and visual communication into my blog posts.


Here are some examples of my photography, these were taken at the BLM protests in
D.C. in 2020.


 job skills education


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