Assan Omar

Activist, Student, and Photographer in Canada

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Assan Omar is originally from Kurdistan. He was living with his mother in a refugee camp in Turkey when they received word that they were being sponsored by a Church group to move to Canada. In 2000, at the age of 7, Assan arrived in Canada with his mother to begin a new life in a country where he did not know the language or the culture. Assan lived for several years in Winchester, then Cornwall, eventually moving to a social housing neighborhood in the West end of Ottawa. When he was in Grade 8, Assan's mother heard about Pathways to Education and signed him up. He started attending the program the following year and immediately earned a reputation as a positive and passionate student. Assan took full advantage of all of the supports available through Pathways, including tutoring and mentoring, and quickly established himself as a leader within the program, at school and in the community at large. Along with other Pathways students, Assan has participated in the Pathways Youth Leadership and Peace Building Program which helped him to develop conflict resolution and cross-cultural communication skills. In Grade 10 he assumed the very responsible position of Treasurer and Vice President of his local community association and in his senior years in high school he joined his school's Link Crew, and provided mentorship and support to incoming Grade 9 students. When he graduated in 2012 Assan was recognized for his formal and informal leadership activities by being awarded the Student Recognition Award from the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. He is deeply committed to social issues, and is currently enrolled in the Police Foundations Program at Algonquin College and is the President of the first ever Parkour Club Algonquin College has ever had, he is bringing this sport to the students of Algonquin college so that they can all network and free-run together and help them all get away from their stressful lives and just to have a therapy session as a group. He is also committing his own time to grow the Pathways to Education Ottawa Alumni group for post secondary students of Pathways can network together. His long-term goal is to work in the area of human rights. Presently creating awareness for Kurdish Cause across Canada, in association with Kurdish Youth Association of Canada (KYAC). Board member of KYA Canada and Carleton University President of Kurdish Youth Association.