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ONFE Volunteers in Education Spotlight: Yusuf Khalid

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Yusuf Khalid

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, ONFE is highlighting some of the volunteers doing amazing work within our communities to fuel and ignite learning.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa, where I completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and my family immigrated to Canada when I was 3 years old. In my free time, I like to work out, golf, and play video games. I am also an avid traveler and passionate foodie.  
2.  What made you decide to volunteer with the Volunteers in Education Program?  

I have always been interested in education as I believe it is the most important part of any society. Education is the key to solving almost all the world’s problems. I aspire to complete my Bachelors in Education in the near future and volunteering with this program is a great way for me to gain valuable experience while also giving back to the community, which is equally important to me.  
3.  What is your personal philosophy on life? 

I have several personal philosophies but the one that is particularly important to me right now is, carpe diem, seize the day. Coming out of this pandemic I don’t want to take anything for granted. I want to make the most of everyday.  
4.  If you had a time machine, what year would you travel to and why? 

If I had a time machine, I would travel back to the 1950s and meet my grandfather on my dad’s side. Unfortunately, he passed away before I was born so I never got to meet him. He was an amazing man who accomplished many great things in his life and I would love to meet him.  
5.  For 24 hours, you can steal credit for any great piece of art, song, film, book etc. which one would you claim?   

I can’t say there’s anything I would like to steal credit for, but it would be amazing to be a part of a Super Bowl winning team for 24 hours and get credit for the win. Like a backup quarterback or something.

6.  What is your favorite hidden gem in Ottawa? (Can be a park, restaurant, store, etc.) 

My favorite hidden gem in Ottawa is my favorite restaurant, Carben. It’s not as well-known as other nice restaurants like Riviera or Mati, but it’s just as good, if not better! 

7.   What was the single greatest lesson of this past year and what did it teach you about yourself? 

I think the single greatest lesson I’ve learned this past year is to live in the present. I’ve learned that everything in our lives can change in a moment so we must value and appreciate life as much as we can every day. We must appreciate things we used to take for granted like eating at a restaurant with friends, going to the movies, or even going to the gym. This ties into my philosophy of carpe diem. This lesson taught me that I used to worry too much about the future and the past, and in doing so was missing out on the present.  

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