Conestoga news

November 2, 2022 10:45 AM

Canadian Arab Women’s Association honours Conestoga PR student

Fourth-year Public Relations student Amina Ismail has been honoured with the Future Leader Award from the Canadian Arab Women’s Association (CAWA). The award, presented at the association’s second annual Women of the Year Awards ceremony on September 17, recognizes an Arab woman between the age of 15 and 24 who is an example of the next generation of female leaders in Waterloo Region and Guelph.

Conestoga College - Amina Ismail.JPG
Fourth-year Public Relations student Amina Ismail has been honoured with the Future Leader Award from the Canadian Arab Women’s Association

“I was happy that they recognized all my work and it motivated me a lot,” said Ismail. “It makes me want to do more, and it was a really good example for my two younger sisters as well.”

CAWA, a non-profit organization that works to connect, support and empower Arab women in Waterloo Region and Guelph, provides a supportive network for Arab women by connecting them with resources, providing support programs and empowering them to be active, successful community citizens.

Over the last two years Ismail has volunteered with the Mennonite Central Committee, working with a team on a refugee case application to help settle a Syrian family in Waterloo Region. Through a series of fundraisers that Ismail was involved with, MCC raised $35,000.

The family arrived safely in the region last May and the MCC extended its help by fundraising to ensure the household was furnished for the family of four. Ismail said the work she did with MCC was the biggest project she’s been involved with in the community.

Ismail is passionate about volunteering, especially with not-for-profit organizations that are working in the community for refugees and immigrants.

“For me, I’ve been there and I know how it feels,” said Ismail about her interest in supporting refugees. “I know what others will experience - the weather, the culture shock - I know what it’s like when they come here.”

Ismail volunteered while she was in high school and has been pleased with the opportunity to support local non-profits, using the skills and knowledge from her Public Relations courses.

“The program has taught me a lot. The amount of work we do for community organizations is just amazing,” added Ismail.

Ismail said that she encourages everyone to volunteer with organizations they’re interested in.

“You meet people and you feel good about yourself because you’re giving back to the community -- you’re doing something good and it actually gives back to you as well,” said Ismail. "And that can take you so far in life. Anything you do counts.”

Conestoga's Bachelor of Public Relations degree program was the first to be approved in Ontario and the fourth of its kind in Canada. Graduates are prepared with critical thinking skills and the practical experience required to manage reputations, responses and relationships on behalf of their organization.