Aliya was put into care when she was young and had to grow up very quickly. By the time she was 12, she was hanging around with older people who carried knives. She never carried herself, but she liked the feeling of safety she got from being around people who did.
When she was 15, Aliya saw someone she knew get stabbed repeatedly right in front of her by a group of guys. She heard later that the young man was killed in the attack. This affected her very deeply and she began to think about the risks of carrying a knife.
She swore then that she would never pick up a knife, and decided to stay away from her friends who carried. It wasn’t an easy decision, but she felt she had no other option after seeing how quickly things had got out of control that night. Aliya made the decision to join millions of young people that live knife free.
Now she concentrates on getting her message out to others through her dancing and work as a youth ambassador. By helping other young girls to express themselves and make the right choices, she’s able to put the past behind her.