Hi! My name is Aminat Lawal. I am a grade 12 student at Lasalle Secondary School. I am a youth intern at Future North, where I co-lead a research project on BIPOC education and a part-time crew member at Dairy Queen.
Family responsibilities over everything. This was the slogan I lived by, being the first child in an African family of four children. I grew up not knowing how to be involved much in the community because it was always only school and taking care of the family. Since I moved to Canada, a few years ago, I’ve been seeking to be involved. To connect deep in the community and to give back. I basically started volunteering anytime it came up at school and that got me steadily involved in the community. My family and I moved a couple of times around Canada because of some language and safety barriers we faced but we finally settled in Sudbury.
Over time, I started to get involved in the community again. I have the responsibility of being a positive role model for the people around me, especially my family and friends. I always make sure that they are involved in something because that is how they get comfortable with the idea of volunteering and being involved at school. Speaking up for youth and connecting with them is something I would call a passion of mine. At my school, I am the Vice President of my school Student Council, a member of the Youth Engagement Council, a member of the Youth Empowerment Council and I am a member of the Future North Youth Expert Panel.
I came across Future North, where I am currently a youth intern. Future North gave me and my partner, Kerry, the opportunity to co-lead a research project; directed to researching the barriers and lack of representation of BIPOC youth in the education system. Future North has also connected me to the Youth Expert Panel, made up of culturally diverse and involved students like myself. I believe that youth have a right to speak up for what they want and it is my goal to educate them and let them know that they are not alone: we are the Future!