Recent grads take Queen's community spirit global
Many Queen’s students aspire to use what they learn at university to improve the world around them. This year, four recent graduates will receive help achieving this goal through the Pathy Foundation Fellowship program.
Each year, the 12-month fellowship provides community-focused experiential learning opportunities to graduating students from Queen’s, McGill, St. Francis Xavier, Bishop’s, and the University of Ottawa. Fellows receive up to $40,000 to fund projects they have developed that will foster positive and sustainable social change in communities they are connected to anywhere in the world. Before they launch their projects in the fall, the Pathy Fellows will prepare by attending skill-building and planning workshops at the Coady Institute.
The four Queen’s recipients have developed projects that will impact communities right here in Kingston as well as around the world in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Pakistan. And they are focusing on a wide array of issues, from mental health to green transportation.
“At Queen’s I see many students who have a strong drive to contribute to communities that are important to them, and the Pathy Foundation Fellowship program makes it possible for a select group to take on meaningful community-centred work while learning new skills at the same time,” says Katie Fizzell, Experiential Learning Strategist, Career Services, Student Affairs. “This year’s four fellowships are the most ever for Queen’s, and the ambitious projects address a range of important issues, from consent in Kingston to mental health in Pakistan. Students interested in applying for a fellowship in the future are encouraged to reach out to Career Services to learn more about the process.”
Anthony Ighomuaye – Revolutionizing Rickshaw Energy Ecosystem for Self-Driven Sustainability in Lagos, Nigeria
Anthony Ighomuaye (MMIE’23) has developed a project to serve the community of rickshaw drivers in his hometown Lagos, Nigeria. The goal of his project is to improve the earnings of rickshaw drivers and reduce operating costs by building a renewable electric infrastructure to serve communities as well as to let rickshaw drivers convert to electrical systems. This will encourage adoption and drive the future of self-driven sustainability by having rickshaw drivers and others power their homes.
“My project is fueled by an unwavering desire to create an extraordinary impact on the world,” says Ighomuaye. “My mission is clear: to unlock universal access to electricity for every household and empower these drivers to transcend their current circumstances by significantly reducing their financial burden.”
Jacqueline Tomazic – Menstrual Health and Empowerment in Moshi, Tanzania
Jacqueline Tomazic (BHScH’23) first traveled to Tanzania in 2017 and focused on women’s reproductive health and global health advocacy during her time in the Queen’s Health Sciences program. In Moshi, she will be working with the Pamoja Tunaweza Women’s Centre, co-founded by Queen’s Professor Jenn Carpenter (Emergency Medicine), to improve menstrual health and hygiene among schoolgirls through increased accessibility of sustainable products, education and empowerment programs, clinical resources, and outreach.
"From both my personal health experiences and academic background, I have developed an unequivocal passion for women’s health equity and advocacy that I am so excited and fortunate to explore throughout my fellowship this year,” says Tomazic. “I hope that this initiative can contribute towards raising awareness and body literacy, promoting positive attitudes towards and amongst all people who menstruate, and empowering women and girls to live their periods safely and with dignity. I strongly believe that no woman should ever feel limited by any aspect of her body and period."
Sara-Maya Kaba – Aawaaz: Mental Health Promotion Through Performing Arts in Pakistan
Sara-Maya Kaba (BAH’21, BEd’22) previously worked with communities in Pakistan to provide mental health education in 2019 and 2022 and has ties to the country through her Pakistani heritage. She will be exploring the power of the performing arts to promote mental health in communities there by working with two local arts organizations.
“The arts are so crucial for human development at the individual, community, and systemic levels and I am grateful to be able to work towards a vision of the world where artistic opportunities are available to all,” says Kaba. “It's tricky to plan something in such a volatile setting, but I am hopeful that Aawaaz can benefit a small group of underserved Pakistani students.”
Aubrey Apps – Youth for Consent Culture in Kingston, ON
Aubrey Apps (BAH’23) developed Youth for Consent Culture (YCC) to seek to address gaps in Kingston high school students’ understanding of consent and healthy relationships. YCC will provide workshops with a focus on prevention and strengthening the sexual violence prevention response community in Kingston.
“By engaging with youth to address some of the gaps in the current sexual health and human development content taught in schools, I hope Youth for Consent Culture helps students find clarity within the grey area, navigate conversations around intimacy, and ultimately decrease instances of sexual violence in campus environments,” says Apps. “This fellowship experience will be foundational in helping me understand how I can contribute to sexual violence prevention work and create positive change for youth.”
Applications for 2023-2024 fellowships will be due on Jan. 5, 2024.
Note: This article originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette.