Two exemplary 4th grade twins, Sophia and Simal Ali, embody Hazar Imam’s guidance that we are never too young nor too old to continue learning and contributing in a meaningful way. At only nine years old, Sophia and Simal were able to create engaging, eye-catching digital marketing content to publicize a game-changing initiative for the Jamat: Lifelong Learning.
What is Lifelong Learning (LLL)?
The LLL team has created a centralized Lifelong Learning platform for the entire Jamat, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned professional. Just a few of the subject areas include transformative leadership, business innovation, project management, IT security, physical and mental health, career strategy, creative arts, diversity & inclusion, educating digitally, marketing, accounting, and data analytics.
The learning platform has hundreds of courses from beginner to advanced levels, with new courses added regularly. LLL pulls from dozens of platforms, centralizes it for your convenience and reach, introduces you to niches you may not have been exposed to, and curates content based on trends we see in our society.
The Path to Lifelong Learning
Sophia and Simal’s journey to the LLL team first started with a seva opportunity offered by Boston Mukhi and Kamadia sahebaan who spotted their unmistakable spark of inquisitiveness as voracious learners. They were asked to create a flyer for a Boston Jamati event, and after proving their skills in spades, they were then asked to create flyers for all the events henceforth. Word quickly spread as to how diligent, creative, and feedback-oriented they were, and soon after, the LLL team was overjoyed to welcome them on board!
Mukhi and Kamadia sahebaan never underestimated the ability of the twins to stretch, grow, and to learn. Simal recalled a quotation from her second-grade classroom: “Don’t just wish for it, work for it,” Sophia also recalled a lesson that stayed with her from the Harry Potter series: one thing even more important than working hard is believing in yourself. And that’s exactly what these fearlessly ambitious sisters did.
Putting Lifelong Learning into Practice
In order to level up their marketing skill sets to serve the Jamat in an even more impactful way, Sophia and Simal attended a Jamati member-led zoom class deep-diving into Canva, a graphic design platform used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content. They’ve been mastering Canva skills ever since, and now want to take it to the next level with iMovie classes for video editing.
The girls have made the best use of the pandemic as an opportunity to expose themselves to areas they hadn’t explored yet. For example, dance wasn’t offered in school, but they took up the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board’s (AKYSB) hip-hop offering over zoom, which invigorated them in a way they never expected.
The twins also attended AKYSB’s cooking and badminton classes to improve upon their current interests. With the full encouragement and support of their parents, they have always taken the initiative and been courageous enough to try something new, just for the joy of it.
When asked if she considers herself a lifelong learner, Sophia replied, “Yes because we’ve learned things all throughout our life - we learned to walk, to talk, to bike, to cook, to play sports - we’re always learning things.” Added Simal, “We see everyone learning - parents, cousins, grandparents,” and this is what sets the tone for the entire Jamat across the age spectrum to gain new skills in an ever-changing world.
Staying Motivated as a Lifelong Learner
We all have long-term goals as visions for ourselves, yet we must also remain open and dynamic to life’s plans for us as we discover newly ignited passions. Sophia wants to be a detective, as she loves Nancy Drew’s mystery novels, and Simal wants to be a dentist and educator like her mom, as she enjoys the tools and intricate craftsmanship. Simultaneously, and in parallel with pursuing their dreams, they also introduce themselves to new areas, just as they did in digital content creation under the tutelage of Alysha Hemani, LLL’s Marketing Lead, from whom they gained incredible confidence and expert tips to carry forth.
\When asked what motivates them to learn, Sophia responded by saying, “I feel it’s a really good use of time. When I learn, I always have something to do, and I know my brain is growing.” Simal replied, “I always feel happy when I achieve one of my learning goals, and that keeps me motivated.”
These girls embody the essence of Lifelong Learning. With excitement and generosity of spirit, they took advantage of the opportunity to serve Jamat as lifelong learners before the platform even launched. We have a lot to learn from their spirited example!
Why Life Long Learning?
For those who are fortunate to be in a career they enjoy, lifelong learning can make you more valuable to your employer, facilitate faster promotions, or gain transferable skill sets in anticipation of your next career milestone.
For others seeking work or personal enrichment, engaging in your own development has never been easier or more cost-effective. Democratized access to knowledge puts brand new skills within reach that were previously inaccessible without a physical presence or a significantly large investment of time and capital.
Please visit https://learning.ismaili.network/ to continue your lifelong learning journey and blossom into your fullest potential.