Learner Perspectives: Public health student Amani Hamadi on removing cultural barriers and shattering the stigma for women pursuing education

“Be the person you needed when you were younger,” is a quote that Amani Hamadi lives by.

With a passion for education, Hamadi hopes to one day become the person she says she needed and wanted when she was younger – a mentor and a role model.

Hamadi is grounded in her commitment to her family and their comfort and wellbeing. A self-described caretaker, she has always believed education to be a vehicle to their enriched future. 

However, she has always felt conflicted between her desire to further her education and the expectation to establish a family of her own. 

Amani Hamadi, MPH candidate“I want to break the cycle that exists for so many women, to remove the barriers and to shatter the stigma that still surrounds women who prioritize education in different cultures around the world.” 

Believing that everyone has the right to follow their educational goals and change their circumstances, Hamadi founded Unique Connections, a mentorship and tutoring initiative that matches youth with leaders and teachers.

After earning her undergraduate degree in Criminology in 2017 from Western University, Hamadi headed to a familiar environment – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). With experience at LHSC as a summer student, she spent a few years working in different areas of the hospital gaining progressively more responsibility and further inspiring her passion for education. It soon became clear to Hamadi that public health was a direction she wanted to pursue, not just to further her education but also because of the foundation it provides for equity for women and opportunity to make systemic change. 

Today, Hamadi is a member of the Master of Public Health Class of 2022. She describes the program as engaging, collaborative and enlightening. Not only has it pushed her to explore new ideas and concepts, but it has ignited a sense of excitement at the prospect of making meaningful change through a career in Public Health.

“When I started the program, I was uncertain about certain topics and subjects related to public health, but I have found that I am broadening and opening my mind to so many things. And I recognize that there is still a lot that I need to learn.”

She has also embraced the United Nations sustainable development goals as part of her considerations for public health and feels a strong connection to the goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. 

Hamadi looks forward to making more change as an advocate and a leader once she graduates with her MPH. She’s also already considering her future educational pursuits including further graduate training. 

“I have often felt like a fish swimming against the current,” she said. “I want to help others in building the capacity to follow their dreams and to leave a positive mark on the world."