Sonu Chhina

YC Member 1999 – 2004

From India

Sonu experienced her first snow at around 3am one February night in a car that skidded ever so often on the highway between The Hague and Rotterdam. She was making the print run for the first edition of the ICPD+5 youth newspaper. First, our headlights caught the odd snowflake, and then the dark sky began dumping some serious powder right onto our windscreen. It was magical, and so was Sonu’s journey with the YC. The YC and Sonu: In a sentence, her memories are of the Watchdog, all-night negotiations and lobbying at the UN, the nine-month committee, cold but hugely productive meetings in Ottawa and Montreal, the Network for Asia-Pacific Youth and some kick-ass lobbying. Today, four years after she aged out of the YC, Sonu is switching from her old career – journalism – to a new one that is on the frontier of social impact and finance. In 2005-‘06, she left her last position in journalism as the City Editor for The Indian Express in Mumbai, to study a dual degree in the US. A Master in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, and a Master in Business Administration at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She has one more year of education to go. She is passionate about SRR and women’s rights advocacy, and her key area of interest is domestic violence, albeit as an academic endeavor. YC has had a profound impact in shaping her worldview, the course of her life, and the way she approaches issues related to social impact. It has given her invaluable skills of leadership, negotiations and crisis-management. It has also given her a set of invaluable friends and experiences – like her first snow –that she will cherish forever.