This little girl is me; I am her.

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By Daljit Kaur | Opinion |

Today is International Day of the Girl 2021 and I am celebrating by taking part in the #ThisLittleGirlIsMe campaign created by Inspiring Girls International.

This little girl grew up in the Black Country in a very happy home with remarkable, hardworking and honest parents and 2 siblings.

She was a shy and quiet girl, self-conscious and hated any type of attention. She was labelled a perfectionist at school and often spent lunchtimes working on her homework and improving her project work. She had little confidence in herself or ability and wanted nothing more than to be left alone with a PC and arts supplies to experiment fabric patterns and designs.

She always knew she’d go to university and have a career. She won a top Art Prize at college and managed to secure a place at a prestigious London Design School without the need to do a foundation year. Torn by the thought of not being close to her parents, especially her dad she decided study Computer Science at a local university instead.

She set up her first business whilst at university aged 18yrs old and supported her parents and own uni costs. Due to the loss of her dad, it took a bit longer for her to complete her degree but she graduated as a mother with a 2:1 Honours in 2002.

She started her career on a graduate teaching scheme with Newman College and went on to secure a teaching position with one of the oldest and quite prestigious Independent Boys School in the world.

She enjoyed being mentored by some absolutely exceptional and experienced Teachers who had been in the profession and at the school in some cases for over 30 & 40 years.

She was taught about character building; about developing the rounded child; about how to build resilience and excellence in boys. She learnt all about how the male brain works and thinks and how to nurture the best from them.

She became a visiting moderator and inspected many schools. She trained up as an examiner and marked GCSE & A Level CS papers for many exam boards whilst enjoying some fabulous results in external examination results.

She used her knowledge to improve the Sikhi experiences at Gurmat camps in the UK and across Europe.

In 2013 she helped prepare a bid for the first free Sikh School in Coventry (Seva School) and actively and passionately helped protest against the closure of the first free Sikh School in Leicester (Falcons Primary School). She went as far as to meet with the DfE [Department for Education] to get them to revoke their decision, which they did (Guru’s blessings).

She got involved with SHARE Charity and Khalsa Foundation and helped with mentoring. She has made some great relationships with other women across the globe.

As she put herself out there more, her confidence and network grew.

This little girl is me; I am her.

I share because 93% of girls feel more confident about their future after hearing from female role models, I hope there is inspiration you can take from my journey so far!

InspiringGirls #RoleModels #BeTheChange

Daljit Kaur, who is based in Leicester, England, is a regional STEM lead for STEM Learning and a mum of three. This article has been adapted from her posting on her LindkedIn page on 12 Oct 2021.

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