“Growing up I didn't have many mentors or see many people of my background/ community attending post-secondary. I believe it's my role to occupy spaces such as these, to encourage youth, and to let them know it's possible if that's the route they hope to take.”
Ilhan is a 25 year old Masters in Public Health student. Previously she spent the last 3 years working as a refugee settlement worker in Vancouver and her deep involvement and passion for helping others is what brought her to Toronto to continue her studies. She told me she wants to be perceived as someone “who truly cares about others, someone who inspires others, and a social justice advocate. That person that someone looks at and goes 'wow, they're so positive, I should kick it with them.’ ” Ilhan is not only extremely positive, but extremely spontaneous. This year alone she’s been to Korea 2 times, travelled all around Asia, written a movie script on her travels, explored Bollywood dance, and moved to Toronto on a whim. In her spare time she also goes to different language exchange groups and can now sing songs in Arabic, Korean, Hindi, Spanish, and Swahili from start to finish (even though usually she doesn’t know what she’s saying!)
What is your favourite quality about yourself?
I think one of my favourite qualities is being able to find the good in almost all situations and to make people smile or laugh.
What is one thing you know for sure?
Everyone has the potential to be great and make our world better than it is.