#Mompowerment: Ayesha Vera-Yu, Fixing the World One Community At A Time
Ayesha Vera-Yu, Investment Banker turned Social Entrepreneur, CEO and Co-Founder of Advancement for Rural Kids, Inc. (ARK)
Ayesha is perfect proof that a woman can succeed at anything she sets her sights on; whether it’s being director of the world’s largest bank, starting a school-based, community-managed, financially sustainable social entrepreneurship geared towards alleviating poverty in rural areas or establishing a 50-50 co-parenting schedule with her husband that fairly divides work hours in terms of caring for and raising their child.
With numerous career and trailblazing achievements, Ayesha shares that being a mom has made her wiser yet more vulnerable. She acknowledges the fears that come with being a mother but is quite intent in not letting those fears impede her mom hustle. She shares, “I don’t want that fear to influence my son or to stop him from doing whatever he wants to do. So I catch myself because children can absorb that energy; it’s more what you don’t say than what you do say that makes a mark.”
When Ayesha got pregnant there was a part of her that was hoping it would be a girl so that she could bring up a feminist. She is passionate in the belief that young moms need to start conversations with our husbands about the amount of time each parent puts in, in caring for their child.
Ayesha shares, “The discussion should come from being able to tell your partner, ‘this is what I want. I want you to give me support in raising our child. These are the kind of things that married couples need to discuss especially when it is their first child. Like, how do you solve the 3 S’s together? That’s Sleep, Sanity and Sex. Because those are the three things that keep a marriage going. It may be a work in progress but at least have that conversation. We need to be rid of the myth that raising a child is solely a woman’s job. If you don’t share the parenting work with your partner equally, how can you achieve the things that you are passionate about?”
Ayesha’s passion is the social impact organization which she started called, Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK). She shares, “We partner with rural communities in the Philippines and with other parts of the developing world. Our thrust is to partner with communities to enable them to secure food for kids and income for life. ARK provides dignity, sustainability and the platform for communities to grow.”
Asked about what she wishes the legacy of her work in ARK will bring to her son, Ayesha shares, “I believe ARK will make him very much aware of the different realities that we have in this world, and I think it will give him purpose. As a mother and as a parent, it’s my responsibility to make sure that I raise a kid that is kind, passionate and understanding. Someone who wants to make this world more fixed; a world that is for everyone. And to enable him to go after his own passion in the same way that he sees mom and dad go after our passion.”