Habon Ali, student, University of Toronto and member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council

Habon Ali is a student at the University of Toronto and member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council.

What advice would you offer women pursuing leadership positions in their fields?

Stand in your success. It’s okay to be confident in your achievements, contributions, and successes. You should never have to mask your true self to be a leader!

What is your definition of success?

Success to me is being able to impact my communities in positive ways. Success is personal development and growth as well as the ability to empower the people around me. I am successful when I leave my environments and surroundings in a better place.

What is the most enriching part about being a leader in your community?

The most enriching part of my leadership journey is inspiring people to turn their frustrations into action. My most fulfilling moments of discussions with my peers are when they share how they were activated to create change within their lives.

What has been the greatest challenge you have experienced as a leader and how have you overcome it?

The greatest challenge I have experienced is being comfortable in my voice and perspective. I tend to use filler words or get anxious when it comes to public speaking. To overcome this, I center myself on the topic and what perspective I bring as a young voice.

What are the keys to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education? 

In order to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education it is imperative that these spaces provide individuals from under-represented groups meaningful opportunities in consultations and decision-making processes. It is equally important that these institutions are not apathetic to detrimental leadership and negative situations that may arise. Action is meaningful.

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