Student making a difference in the lives of others

Focus On Youth

By Phill Potter

Name: Ahmed Hamza                                    

Age: 17

School: St. Francis Xavier High School

Grade: 12

Parents: Nashwa Ali (Mother), Moahmed Hamza (Father)

Sisters: Laila Hamza , University graduate, Small business owner; Mariam Hamza, Developmental service worker.

Pets: Chico, Lunes and Maloussi (cats)

Pet Peeve: “People who say, “No offense” as if it downplays anything insulting they say.”

Part-time Work: Mad Radish, team member

Favourite Subjects: “Criminology, Biology, and Environmental Studies. I enjoy understanding the world around me, and why things happen.”

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure?

“I enjoy reading books, specifically based on mental health, and books that incorporate motivation for success. For instance, one of my favourite pieces of literature is No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy; simply because the author is an amazing influencer on many individuals.”

Who is your favourite author:

“My favourite author is Brian Tracey. My favourite books written by Tracey are ‘The power of self discipline’ and ‘Get Smart’. I enjoy Tracey’s books because they focus on self improvement and development, and his books motivate me to reach my highest potential. I find self help books great, because they inspire me to make better choices, and have a positive mindset at all times. I also enjoy books by John Grisham, such as the legal thriller The Client. I enjoy legal thrillers, because they give me a basic understanding of the legal system. Since I want to become a lawyer, this intrigues me.”

What is your greatest accomplishment?

“I have a few amazing accomplishments, from getting accepted early to my chosen program in UOttawa, to adopting my cat. My two greatest accomplishments are the Life Bags and Hygiene Bags. Life bags are lunches designed especially for the less fortunate. They incorporate protein, veggies, snacks and juices. Life bags are important, because they bring life to our community, especially during these tough times when people tend to fade away from reality. Shelters are overpopulated, and individuals are sleeping outside. No one deserves to be neglected. If we’re able to help, we must. Life bags are a very large initiative.

“You’re probably wondering how I was able to pull this off all by myself? Well, the answer to that is; I didn’t – not alone at least. I had a lot of help preparing the bags from high school volunteers who had taken months to organize, prepare, and raise money to fund the initiative. (Shoutout to Abby H; and can’t forget Maria Olivero) Maria Olivero is a very kind teacher. She helps students bring life to their ideas, ideas that help the community. She is very driven to help the individuals around her. Her primary focus is the community.

“This year, for my grade 12 summative, I created an idea called the Hygiene Bags. These bags incorporate basic female and male hygiene, such as shampoo, conditioner and lip balm, to basic female hygiene. I received an amazing donation (for the second time) from Mark Siolek. Without him I would not be able to bring this idea to life.

“I purchased the products from Shoppers, and with the help of my sisters, then distributed them in downtown Ottawa. I do believe that when covid restrictions are lifted, Saint Francis Xavier is going to make Life Bags a yearly tradition!”

School Activities: “I do enjoy participating in school sports, but now, because of the world pandemic, the restrictions are yet to be lifted.”

Other Activities/Interests: “I really enjoy boxing and playing basketball.  This year I created Blessing Bags for the unfortunate. A Blessing Bag consists of essential items; such as snacks, toiletries, and grooming supplies. Creating those Blessing Bags was a very rewarding experience, because it helped give those in need a sense of hope.

“I believe that since I am in a position to help, I should reach out and help those who are in need. Helping others, and contributing to their well being, is truly a rewarding experience. I also believe it is a moral obligation to extend a hand to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Career Goals:  “I am hoping to become a lawyer. I believe that being a lawyer is an intellectually rewarding job. I would love to advocate for others, and make a difference in people’s lives. A career in law would be very fulfilling for me, since I strive to always be in an environment that is intellectually stimulating and challenging.”


“Life at my school is very simple. Yes, we are crowded with a lot of work, because the schedule is very compressed. However, we use cohorts, so that gives us slightly more time to finish things and study. Saint Francis Xavier is a simple and organized school. With this whole pandemic, we have to be extra cautious. Our school implemented strategies to help fight the virus, and keep the students safe. I’m doing great. Working full time, and being a full time student has its cons. However, it’s just about balancing.”Fo