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Meet the winner of the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition: Saba Fatemi
By Haebin Pan
Saba Fatemi is a SIAT (School of Interactive Arts and Technology) student at SFU. She is a program supervisor for SFU Surrey - TD Community Engagement Centre’s Media Minds program, and she was also a Lead Volunteer for Racing Readers.
Saba is a winner of the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition, in which she won the funding for her proposed project—CommuniCreate—to be launched.
How have her experiences at SFU Surrey - TD CEC helped her to expand her possibilities? Let’s hear directly from her about her thoughts!
Could you tell us about yourself? How did you get involved with SFU Surrey - TD Community Engagement Centre?
- I'm a second-degree SIAT student. I met Trisha, a Community Engagement Associate at SFU Surrey - TD CEC, at a booth. She discussed various paid and volunteer positions, and I decided to apply right away! For two hours every week, I supervised Media Minds, a program that helped school-aged students to learn how to make media such as short videos and movies.
Wow, that sounds awesome! Could you describe other experiences that you had through CEC?
- I was also a Lead Volunteer for Racing Readers. It’s an after-school program for students in Grades 2 to 5 that facilitate literacy, numeracy, and physical activities. Moreover, I was responsible for leading a virtual program for Media Minds after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, I registered for the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition with a team of students and alumni. This is a competition in which SFU students and alumni can win up to $3000 to work with an organization to make a difference in their community. We won the competition and got our funding for our proposed project: CommuniCreate.
Could you tell us more about your project for the competition?
- Of course! We identified that a lot of newcomers to Canada were looking for English learning programs. Unfortunately, there was a lack of free programs available for school-aged students. We decided to create CommuniCreate, a free program, to help these students improve English, feel a sense of community, and connect with volunteers meaningfully. SFU Surrey - TD CEC is running this program for a second term. It’s been quite fulfilling for me to work with volunteers, connect with students, and see students have an awesome time!
You’ve recently been hired as a Digital Literacy Program Assistant at Burnaby Neighbourhood House. How do you think your experiences with SFU Surrey - TD CEC will help your future goals?
- I’m definitely learning more about myself and gaining more skills. People who I met through my experiences at CEC sent me job postings for me to apply. The interviewers for the Digital Literacy Program Assistant position already knew me from my involvement with CommuniCreate. Due to my experiences at CEC, I was able to network and build strong connections. I would definitely encourage SFU students and alumni to volunteer and/or work for SFU Surrey - TD CEC. The experiences have been unforgettable and amazing!