Woman of Achievement: Blind Leeds student named county’s ‘Woman of the Year’
A blind student from Leeds has been crowned this year’s ‘Yorkshire’s Woman of Achievement’ saying she hopes to lead by example for other disabled members of the Asian community.
Saliha Rashid, picked up both the ‘Young Achiever’ and overall ‘Woman of Achievement’ title earlier this month at the annual Sue Ryder Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards.
Registered blind since birth, Saliha has overcome her own disability and now studies law at University.
The 22-year-old left her home at the start of her second year of study and says she was surprised when she received her nomination for the Young Achievers award.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” she said. “The work I do is something that has to be done so to win the award was so overwhelming and emotional.
“I never expected to receive the Young Achiever award let alone Woman of the Year. There were so many deserving women.”
Saliha paid tribute to her friends and lecturers for their help in achieving the award adding it was the people who said she ‘would never amount to anything’ that she most wanted to thank.
“They were the ones who motivated me to keep going, to prove the point that disability and gender is not something which has to set anyone back,” she said.
“I hope my success in this awards ceremony shows other disabled members of the Asian community that you can overcome anything and allows us to tackle taboo subjects.”
Carol Green, Volunteering Co-ordinator at Leeds Trinity University, nominated Saliha for the awards and also attended the ceremony at the Royal Armouries to see her pick up the accolades.
She explained why the former Psychology student was deserved of her awards.
“It was a pleasure to have nominated her for the award,” she said.
“Saliha was an enthusiastic volunteer whilst at Leeds Trinity. Our volunteering programme gives all students the opportunity to volunteer during their degree, which can add hugely to their CVs.”