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Ilhan Abdullahi (Vancouver, Canada)

There is no one path to becoming an activist in your community. We all have unique talents and interests that we can leverage to make a difference. We spoke with Ilhan Abdullahi, an Instructor at Simon Fraser University and Health Promotion Program Manager currently living in Vancouver, who shared some valuable insights from her experiences.


A couple of years back, Ilhan really didn’t know what her career map would look like. With where she is at now, working in the health promotion field as a program manager and teaching at a university, she can look back and definitely say that her role in community activism and social justice work played (and continues to play) a substantial role in how she got to these roles. Growing up as a youth in Vancouver, she spent a lot of time volunteering in her community and eventually started working as a youth worker with refugee and newcomer youth. ⠀ This was a community she resonated with, was a part of and was committed to working alongside with to address health and social barriers. From there, she decided that she wanted to pursue a career that centered around equity, advocacy and tackled the systemic causes of these issues. After some time of working as a youth worker and studying health sciences, she explored options in pursuing graduate studies in public health and thought it would be a great next step to move to Toronto and pursue her Masters in Public Health and that helped her attain the work she is doing now. ⠀⠀⠀

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ilhan's advice to youth is to learn from our conversations with people, those real genuine conversations. She encourages us to take time in understanding our place in this world and engage in meaningful conversations that confirm or mold our values and passion. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thank you Ilhan for the wonderful advice and sharing your experiences with us. Keep up the great work!

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