STUDENTS
02/02/2016 07:02 GMT | Updated 02/02/2016 07:59 GMT

Teenager Stephanie Kurlow Dreams Of Becoming The World's First Hijab-Wearing Ballerina

Like many young girls Stephanie Kurlow, who had been dancing since she was two, dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But, in 2010, she stopped performing after converting to Islam, as she thought she could not be both a Muslim and a professional ballerina.

"There are no facilitations or services targeted at Muslim girls," the 14-year-old explains. "In this day and age there is a lack of facilitations for youth who are disengaged or of a different religion or race."

Recently, however, Kurlow, from Sydney, has decided to continue pursuing her dreams.

"So many inspiring changes are happening to the world.. African-American ballerinas- Michaela De Prince and Misty Copeland, the first Hijabi Emirati [weight] lifter Amna Al Haddad and the first Hijabi news anchor on American television Noor Tagouri - that have motivated me to pursue my passion."

Kurlow is now trying to raise $10,000AUD to reach her goal of training at a ballet school.

"I want to encourage everyone to join together no matter what faith, race or colour," she writes on her crowdfunding page.

"By your investment in me I will be able to receive my qualifications and diplomas so that I may open a performing arts school that caters to children and teenagers of different religions, races or backgrounds.

"I believe I am here to inspire and motivate youth who feel isolated or disengaged due to labels and restrictions, to pursue their dreams no matter what."

Kurlow has already raised more than $1,000 of her target.