Meet the 2018-2019 Fellows
Niya studies Business Technology Management at Ryerson University and has worked in both the private and public sectors. Niya hosted fundraising events for emergency initiatives in East Africa and facilitated financial literacy workshops as Ryerson’s East African Student Association VP of Finance. Volunteering at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto’s Hot Soup Day, she amplifies positivity within her community. Niya facilitates empowering workshops for youth with the Rivers of Hope Collective on taking action against Islamophobic violence. Niya is eager to merge her passion for technology, innovation, and strategy, seeking technical solutions to municipal issues like affordable housing and public transit
Aysha is a community organizer and student at the University of Toronto. She is a founding member of the Muslim Justice Collective (MJC), a student group by and for BIPOC 2SLGBTQ+ students. MJC is currently focused on fostering relationships with progressive groups on campus and creating a space for collective learning through weekly dialogues. Through her work at UofT’s Office of Student Life, Aysha identifies delivery gaps and creates programming that helps marginalized communities access campus resources and services. Through the Muslim Youth Fellowship, Aysha hopes to find other avenues to make Toronto a more equitable place for all.
Ladan is a community organizer and graduate of the University of Toronto in Criminology, Socio-legal studies and Equity studies. Growing up in Flemingdon Park, Ladan developed a passion for equitable access to quality education after seeing the opportunity it provides to those who face closed doors. This passion motivates her work with Sistercode, a youth mentorship program for young Black women in high school. As Co-Founder and program coordinator, Ladan supports young women’s pursuit of post-secondary education, participation in STEM fields, and overall digital literacy. Ladan is excited to better understand municipal politics through the Fellowship, and become a change-maker within the city.
Mohamed is currently completing a bachelor’s in Political Science and History, with a research focus on Middle Eastern political history. Mohamed passionately engages with the Muslim community as a volunteer for AlKauthar Institute and as a caseworker for the National Zakat Foundation. Additionally, Mohamed’s experience provided the opportunity to gain work on qualitative research, quantitative analysis, effective writing, and communication. Mohamed developed an interest in the affairs of Canadian multiculturalism and immigration, particularly as to how they matter to Canadian Muslims. Mohamed’s goal in the Muslim Youth Fellowship is to investigate these topics further with his fellows.
Hodan is a student leader studying Political Science, Communication Studies, and Public Administration & Law at York University. Currently Chief Operating Officer on the Undergraduate Political Science Council, Hodan hosts campus events, participates in the department, and offers opportunities for civic engagement. As a proud Etobicoke North resident, she gives back to her community as Council Lead on the EN Youth Council and volunteering with her local Member of Parliament. After interning at Toronto Community Housing’s Community Safety Unit, Hodan is passionate about advocating for affordable and safe housing. Through MYF she hopes to learn more about Municipal politics and continue to make a positive impact.
Abdullah Osman studies Political Science and History at University of Toronto, with a strong interest in public policy and governance. He is passionate about community building, youth engagement, and social development. He has experience working with the U.S. Mission to Canada as a Public Affairs Intern, as a Fellow at the Mosaic Institute where he worked on a national campaign to combat racial discrimination, and on his local Youth Council as a youth advisor to his Member of Parliament. In 2017, Abdullah was also elected as a member of the Facility of Arts and Science Council to represent over 22,000 Arts and Science students at UofT, in addition to serving in executive positions in other student societies. Abdullah hopes to work with this year’s cohort on getting Canadian Muslims concerns and interests represented in mainstream political spaces.
Khadija is a national youth leader, grassroots community mobilizer and student at Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto with a passion for youth policy, and socio-economic development in marginalized communities. She is a champion of many social justice causes particularly the empowerment of minorities, at-risk/marginalized youth, and women through her roles as a Daughter of the Vote for Equal Voice, and a Girls (20) Girls on Boards fellow. As part of the Prime Minister’s Office policy team, Daughter of the Vote participant and a Canadian youth delegate to the UN, Khadija discovered her passions for civic engagement, empowerment of marginalized communities, and conscious citizenship.
Anisa is an aspiring human rights lawyer and social justice activist. Residing in Markham Ontario, the majority of her involvement in social justice and community engagement is in Toronto. She currently serves as a human rights advocate with Amnesty International and equity ambassador at her student union at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She understands law and politics to be intersectional, and so engages in civic participation and community organization.Through the Fellowship, she looks forward to working with like-minded individuals to protect public values and develop change, while promoting diversity.
Fatah is concurrently completing a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University and a Masters in Public Policy and Management from the University of York (UK) remotely. His work with the University of Toronto’s Health Systems Performance Research Network on innovative improvements to healthcare in Ontario expanded his understanding of healthcare as a tool for empowerment. Fatah has organized the annual ‘Day of Service’ at his alma mater in support of homeless youth. He was Ontario Lead for Charity Week, the largest Muslim youth-led project in the world, supporting orphans and needy children, where he continues to build as incoming National Director. Through the Fellowship Fatah hopes to build skills necessary to effectively advocate for marginalized communities, particularly around health policy.
Naeema is a Scarborough-based community organizer, youth mentor, and undergraduate academic researcher. Naeema encourages young Muslim women in community development and civic engagement through her work as a youth program coordinator at the Abu Huraira Centre, intern with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, and an undergraduate teaching assistant at York University. Through spoken word poetry, Naeema brings awareness to social issues such as Islamophobia and has collaborated with organizations including the Canadian Mental Health Association, VICE media, and the Anti-Racism Directorate. Naeema received the RCMP’s Youth Leadership Award in 2018.
Born in Pakistan, Ahil spent his childhood in the Middle East, worked a summer in Kenya on holistic development and is now pursuing his post-secondary education in Canada. This global exposure has helped Ahil develop insights on youth identity, microcredit programs and the urgent need for internationalized education. Currently, he is pursuing a BBA degree from the Schulich School of Business and running Interfaith, a grassroots organization formed to foster an appreciation of Toronto’s diversity. Through the Fellowship, Ahil is looking forward to discussing how to enhance engagement of Muslim youth in civic and political spheres and gain a thorough understanding of our political process at City Hall.
Rosia is a Toronto-born, Scarborough-based city builder with a passion for program planning. Rosia studies Public Policy and City Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where she has run student campaigns as Director of Management at the Student Union. Rosia is a Senior Program Leader with Toronto Community Housing Corporation, designing after-school programming that creates stronger and healthier communities. While working with Councillor Neethan Shan, Rosia devised a constituent engagement strategy to promote awareness of housing opportunities, tenant rights and housing by-laws. Rosia aspires to create a more equitable Toronto through community-centered programming and thoughtful policy design, and looks to exploring this process further as a Fellow.
Ashima is a fourth year University of Toronto Scarborough student studying Political Science and Health Studies. She is Outreach Director for Oxfam UTSC and a member of the Rouge Park Constituency Youth Council, both of which have developed her core skills in social justice issues and advocacy. Ashima worked collaboratively to lead a series of fundraising initiatives to support Islamic Relief’s Palestine Emergency Appeal. Ashima is drawn to MYF because it provides diverse youth an opportunity to be represented in municipal affairs. She hopes to change the narrative that youth are disengaged from civic society and increase representation of minority groups in politics.
Zartasha is completing a Bachelor of Science at University of Toronto Scarborough. The increase in hate crimes toward the Muslim community locally and internationally led her to human rights advocacy. She is the Racialized Students’ Collective Coordinator at her Student Union, where she facilitates discussions, panels, and campaigns for issues impacting racialized communities. She has also worked with various charitable and advocacy groups during times of humanitarian crisis. Zartasha’s interest in policy work stemmed from her realization of structural violence and prejudice faced by marginalized communities. She believes in the collective social responsibility to address these issues in political platforms.