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Baraa Abuzayed

3rd year, Global Development Studies, Minor in French
You learn so much about yourself through others. When this happens, you know that your matter here. You're not just a number.
Baraa became interested in Huron at a university presentation given at her high school. Baraa attended Huron’s Fall Open House and spoke with faculty from the Centre for Global Studies. “The professors really showed this was the program for me. It was the right environment for me, and when I arrived at Huron, I knew I found the right fit.” 

“I like my professors a lot. They supported me and encouraged anything I was interested in. Global Development has really opened my eyes and encouraged me to think critically about how I want to contribute to the world.” Baraa’s professors further deepened Baraa’s pursuit of an elite educational experience when they supported her to apply for a research fellowship through the Centre for Undergraduate Studies (CURL). She reflects on the experience, sharing that “All of my professors really care about me. You have access to opportunities at Huron you just wouldn’t elsewhere.” 

Baraa’s experiences at Huron have intensified her interest in championing human rights initiatives – especially those with a focus on displacement and refugees. “I want to focus more on grassroots community development. I would like to do work where everyone’s voices, especially the people living in the community, steer the direction of the initiative.” Luckily, Huron’s unique approach to Liberal Arts education has already given Baraa the theoretical and hands-on lessons she needs to thrive in this sector.

Baraa was elected President of the Arab Students Association (ASA) after a successful year as the Vice President of Events. For Baraa, taking advantage of Huron’s affiliation with Western by getting involved in their clubs and extracurricular activities has been a great way to experience the larger campus atmosphere, while still being able to call Huron home. 

In addition, the Arab Students’ Association and Baraa’s own interest in Global Development has allowed Baraa to bridge lived experience with her university experience. “At my high school, there weren’t other students there with the same background as me. These experiences in the classroom and with my clubs have allowed me to learn more about myself. Being in a leadership position in the ASA and being expected to really be involved in the classroom has made me learn to be more open with people.” 

“Leadership with Heart, for me means that, as students, we have a chance to take on different roles. Whether you are in a position of authority or an engaged team member, each position has meaning and is part of a bigger whole. We all have a chance to voice our opinions and participate. For me, Leadership with Heart has meant learning from one another. When this happens, you know that your matter here. You’re not just a number.”