Congratulations to Fatima Ahmed (BEd teacher candidate, Orillia), who has been recognized by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) 2019 Scholarship Program for her excellence in teacher education.
As noted on the OCT website, this award is granted to individuals who “demonstrate a high level of preparedness for teacher education through examples of community involvement, background and life experiences.” Fatima has fulfilled these criteria in numerous ways, including her work as an Organizational Development Advisor for HIV/AIDS Chief Strategy Officers in Botswana (2013-2015); her work as an Executive Director for a youth centre for at-risk youth in Inuvik, NWT (2009-2010); and her work as an IT trainer and a Women’s Development Officer for the provincial government in Vanuatu, South Pacific (2007).
Fatima notes that these international life experiences, along with many others – including the fact she speaks multiple languages and has lived, worked, or studied in five continental areas – were tremendous growth experiences that pushed her toward the field of teaching. She adds thanks to those who have supported her throughout her educational journey.
“During my acceptance speech at the OCT council meeting, I mentioned that getting this award would not have been possible without the help of mentors and allies," she said. "I had a few odds against me, including a challenging financial situation and an undiagnosed disability, which prevented me from excelling during my first undergraduate degree. But, through the help of mentors and allies who continued to believe in me, I was able to keep pushing in academic and non-academic fields. I’m grateful because this award says that people can excel in spite of some obstacles.”
Congratulations, Fatima, on this notable award!