Student Artist Making a Difference

Focus on Youth

By Phill Potter

Name: Huda Amin       

Age: 17

School: St. Joseph High     

Grade: 12

Parents: Rita and Omar Amin

Brother: Omran (14), grade 9, St. Joseph High

Pet Peeve: “People who chew really loudly, especially if they’re chewing gum really loud during a test. It makes me lose focus!”

Favourite Subject: “My favourite subject would definitely be Biology. It’s a challenging subject with many ups and downs. However, it’s always exciting and fun to learn. When I study biology, I’m learning about myself and the world around me, and how the micro and macro of our world are all interconnected. Out of all the topics, human biology is the best.”

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure? “I’m an avid book reader. I absolutely love reading, because it makes me escape from reality and live in a new world. I especially enjoy reading non-fiction, fantasy novels and mystery, because of how fun they are to read. The best books are ones that make you forget the worries and frustrations of this world, and wander your brain to imagine new creativities.”

Who is your favourite author? “Khaled Hosseini –  an Afghan-American novelist and author of the famous Kite Runner book. As an Afghan myself, his books connect me with my background, and tell a minimal piece of a story that many Afghans have faced. Although his books have more of an orientalist view, his writing style and story building are packed with emotion and power in every book he writes – making him my favourite author.”

What is your greatest accomplishment? “My greatest accomplishment is being proud of the person I have become and achieving the goals I had set. For example, I recently got accepted into my program of choice, Health Science, at both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

“Another one, would be stepping out of my comfort zone and presenting my art at an Afghan Charity Week event over Zoom, where the money raised would go towards orphaned and disabled Children in Afghanistan. This event was organized by Student initiatives in the UK. I didn’t know anyone and it was pretty nerve-wracking. However, I felt accomplished in the end. I was part of an amazing initiative that made an impact on people’s lives, and broadened my horizons.”

School Activities: “Throughout high school I’ve participated in many school clubs: LINK Club, Student Council, Diversity Club, etc., but the one that stuck out to me the most was LINK Club. We focused on promoting Mental Health and Wellness in the school through many activities, events, and fundraisers, while also helping the greater community during holidays, like Christmas.

“The LINK Club will always be a high school experience I will hold dear, because of the amazing students and teachers that made the Club welcoming and memorable – shoutout to Mrs. White and Mrs. Briglio!  This year, due to the pandemic, many school clubs were unfortunately cancelled, Nevertheless, I took a position as a Media Executive for the Student Council, and created posts to promote school events.”

Other Activities/Interests: “I’ve always loved creating art. The pandemic really pushed me to showcase my art to a greater audience, and step out of my comfort zone. Because of that, I recently opened an art account on Instagram that combines aspects of my Afghan identity and personal interests, which has gained lots of love from many people. I want to use my art to showcase the beautiful side of Afghanistan that the media disproportionately displays, and use art as a tool to advocate for change, not only in Afghanistan, but the world.”

Career Goals: “I will be attending the University of Ottawa to obtain an Honours Bachelor of Health Science. My future career goal is to work in a Healthcare setting to make a difference, and have a positive impact on other people’s lives.”

Comment: “With my High School journey coming to an end – during a pandemic. As well as many others, it’s clear to say that this year for us was confusing, disappointing, but still unique in its own way. I’m sad that I won’t be able to say a proper goodbye to the last six years of my life as I turn the page, but I’m satisfied that through these challenges, we still made it to the finish line. Nurses, Doctors, and frontline workers are the ones working the hardest during this time, so hopefully all together, we can quickly reach the finish line to this pandemic.”