Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Engineering and Manager at the University of Ottawa’s Richard L'Abbé MakerSpace
Zaineb Al-Faesly, a structural engineering master’s student at the University of Ottawa, was one of the recipients of the Strength Through Diversity Award in 2018. Along with pursuing her masters, Zaineb is a Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Engineering and Manager at the University of Ottawa’s Richard L'Abbé MakerSpace. Zainab is thankful to the Spirit of the Capital Awards for encouraging her to continue her academic journey.
Zaineb was introduced to Youth Ottawa through the Spirit Awards when her boss Hanan Anis, NSERC Chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design, and her colleague, Midia Shikh Hassan, UofO MakerLaunch Manager, nominated her for the award last year. She is now involved with Youth Ottawa through the Youth Advisory Committee, working with a diverse team of past Spirit Award recipients to advise Youth Ottawa and organize youth-centered community events. Along with celebrating 14 recipients in 7 categories, the awards are meant to inspire other young people to make a difference in their communities and show them that their efforts and passions will be recognized.
The awards have given Zaineb a stronger sense of belonging. Although she calls Canada home, she wasn’t always sure that she fit in. “Receiving the Strength Through Diversity Award has affirmed that who I am and what I do matters,” Zaineb told us.
When asked what advice Zainab would give to youth, she said, “Raise your hand, seek opportunities, and get involved. Feeling doubtful and uncertain? That’s great! Growth happens outside of our comfort zone, so honor these hesitations. They will help shape the future you.”