Haleema on stage acting in a play

Haleema Ali

External Relations Officer

What is your motivation for working at UpRising?

I did UpRising's Bedford Leadership programme three years ago and benefited immensely from it. I gained great networks, friendships and skills. I hope to inspire the young leaders of tomorrow and I am passionate about making a difference to society. I believe UpRising embody the same core values I live my life by and it is a great organization to work for! Through social change we can make a massive impact on our communities. 

What were you doing before you worked at UpRising?

I was a teacher at a pupil-referral unit, helping students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, who had been expelled from mainstream school. Following this, I became an education executive for the Prince's Trust Mosaic, running mentoring programmes for young people. I then became a mentor at the college I studied in. I also hold several board group positions, such as being the vice-chair of Bedfordshire Police Scrutiny Panel, ensuring stop and searches are conducted fairly and effectively. Aside from youth work, I am a freelancer, public speaker and writer. I use art and curate exhibitions and events to inspire social change and activism, creatively portraying issues such as knife crime and human rights. 

What is one piece of advice you would give your 18 year old self?

To take care of myself - I always put others before me and that has, over the years, taken a toll on my own health and wellbeing. Helping others starts with helping myself.