Halima MohamedHalima Mohamed is the eighth recipient of a scholarship supporting first- and second-generation Canadians.

Award honours student’s volunteerism

In Canada, Halima Mohamed’s parent found a place where they didn’t have to give up their Somali identities and were instead invited to embrace a new culture as their own.

“My family’s immigration story began with the search for a better life, a journey that is all too familiar for many who leave their homelands,” says the fourth-year biochemistry student. “Being born and growing up here, I witnessed the struggles and beauty that come with the immigrant experience.”

She says that experience taught her lessons in “resilience, strength, kindness, and, above all else, the importance of having a community.”

Her determination to give back earned her the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship, a $1,000 award to support first- and second-generation Canadians.

The scholarship founder, alumna Cessidia DeBiasio (BSW 2015, BComm 2018), says Mohamed embodies its mission: “honouring our ancestors while giving back to the next generation of student leaders.”

Among Mohamed’s leadership commitments are founding a UWindsor chapter of Diabetes Canada, and volunteering for the Canadian National Institute of Blind, Breast Cancer Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Hospice of Windsor-Essex.

“Halima has made it her mission to dedicate her time to supporting various organizations around Windsor-Essex,” says DeBiasio. “This allows her to meet people of different cultures, religions, ethnicities, and ages and extend her hand to others who may also be missing close human connection.”

Mohamed hopes to pursue a career in palliative medicine.

“Sometimes the best way to say thank you is through action and dedication,” she says. “Giving back is the ultimate lesson I have learned from my family’s journey, and it inspires me to do as much as I can to help others in the same way that I have been helped countless times before.”

DeBiasio named the scholarship in honour of her grandmother as a way to acknowledge the efforts of her family and other newcomers to Windsor and Essex County. To learn more, visit the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship website.