October - Habon Ali

Habon Ali
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 12:18pm

Habon Ali is a third year student pursuing a double major in biology and environmental sciences. This month she was awarded a fellowship with the Mosaic Institute, a charitable not-for-profit organization which fosters dialogue throughout diverse Canadian communities to advance justice and peace. Through this fellowship, she will be working with 17 student leaders from all across Canada to create a social action plan to showcase how our differences are our solutions. She is also a youth advocate at the Youth Health Action Network, which is a youth led leadership initiative that is led under Toronto Public Health whos main focus is to tackle youth health issues, mainly tobacco, through community outreach events, research and advocacy on a municipal level. She is also involved on campus clubs including Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hands, COS UTM and the Somali Student Association. Off campus, she volunteers at Toronto Western hospital and Silvercreek Preschool. She is passionate about accessibility, poverty alleviation, health advocacy including health issues that affect marginalized.  She is extremely interested in health policy and public health, and hopes to pursuing a career in Disaster and Emergency management.

Habon's Advice for Students:

1) Find your Fit: 

Campus Volunteering is an invaluable resource that will allow you to find your passions, strengths and even dislikes. By joining various clubs on campus you will find things you're good at while learning essential skills like teamwork, time management, networking and public speaking skills.

2) Don't Spread Yourself Thin:

If you're looking to be involved find a few initiatives or clubs that you are passionate about and dedicate your time. Community building is a long process and results cannot be your motivation. As humans we want to see immediate changes that we are effecting but it is a long process and can take 2-3 years to see meaningful results. Nonetheless, the process is the best part and the small impacts you have along the way are profound. 

3) Take Care of Yourself

You will never be able to help others or your greater community without taking care of yourself. Ensure that you are scheduling time to relax after busy weeks of midterms, meetings, events and life. As a student it is easy to get overwhelmed with work, extracurriculars and school. Make time for yourself and ensure that your in the best position to be helping others.

4) Surround Yourself with a Positive Circle

A positive group of friends who are understanding will give you an amazing support network. 

5) Don't Skip on Sleep 

There are not enough hours in a day but making sure you are well rested will help you tackle all of the tasks you need to get done.