Generation Grit: She held her family together as mother figure to her siblings

When she was 16, Aliyah Fatin spent most of her time caring for her siblings as her parents were embroiled in multiple legal battles. Despite that, she did well in school and will be among the top students in her cohort graduating from polytechnic.

As a teenager, Ms Aliyah Fathin Sirajul Islam juggled school with caring for her three younger siblings. While it was a huge responsibility for a 16-year-old, it taught her the importance of being close to her loved ones and the need to persevere through tough times, she tells The Straits Times in this series about millennials who inspire us with their courage and resilience.

SINGAPORE - Two weeks before her O levels, Ms Aliyah Fathin Sirajul Islam's carefree teenage life took a turn when a gas explosion at her parents' restaurant left it in ruins and her family heavily in debt.

The incident in 2011 also injured 11 people, and her parents were hit with a $63,000 fine for fire safety violations.


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