Urooj, who was the unanimous winner of this year’s award, hopes to pursue a career in health, as she believes her passions for biology and interacting with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures intersect within this field. In Urooj’s words:
“At H’art, I had firsthand experiences that showed me the importance of making artistic expression accessible to all and the positive impact this has on both the individual and the community they are a part of. As a student pursuing a career in human health, what I learned at H’art about communication through body language and reading emotions solely based on eye expressions (due to masks covering the majority of everyone’s faces) is incredibly important to me and my studies. It is important for all future and current health professionals to understand the people they interact with, regardless of any barriers in communication. I intend to apply the skills I learned at H’art regarding empathy, patience, and communication to both my future career and my education. From my interactions with staff at H’art, I have learned critical-thinking and communication skills as well as the dedication necessary to maintaining the H’art Centre’s goal despite a global pandemic. I have learned so much about creativity, communication, and warmth from the H’art Centre’s participants, who welcomed me to the family with kindness, joy, and a lot of laughter!”
With the assistance of the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area, this fund was set up by two former board members, in recognition of the important role that post-secondary students play to the success of H’art, and to encourage them to consider careers that exemplify the philosophy, aims, and joys of the H’art Centre in its work through accessible arts.