Efuaye Abu

BPH student, Public Health

Efuaye Abu


BPH, Public Health

Why did you decide to take HLTH 481?

I decided to take HLTH 481 because when looking for an option for my final year capstone it sounded like an interesting class to participate in. I had never taken a class that had a field competent before, so this sounded like a great way to switch it up and close off my academic career here at UWaterloo. Also, I have always had an interest in non-profit organizations, so I was excited for the opportunity to be able to contribute to one through this class.

What community partner are you volunteering with, and why?

I am volunteering with United for Literacy. While researching potential organizations to volunteer at I was drawn to United for Literacy's mission/values. They believe that literacy is a right for everyone, and are strong advocates for literacy being transformational, urgent, dynamic, vital, and achievable.

I personally love to read and write, and I couldn’t imagine not being able to experience the emotions and experiences that come with doing both of those activities. That being said, I felt like United for Literacy was an organization that aligned with my personal values and love for learning!

What kind of work are you doing within the organization?

At United for Literacy, I am a volunteer tutor for two programs:

  • SCAWR (Somalian Canadian Association of Waterloo Region) Newcomer Homework Support Program & YMCA Family Language
  • Learning 1:1 Newcomer Homework Support

At both programs, I support students in grades 3 to 6 with reading, writing, math, and science. This involves helping learners with homework they may have, reading books with them, or engaging them with fun educational activities or worksheets.

What do you like most about this experience?

United For Literacy is an amazing organization to volunteer with. My favorite part about this experience is getting to know the learners! They are so engaging and fun to be around and they definitely keep me on my toes.

The most rewarding part is being able to see a learner’s progress over time as they gain more confidence in their reading and writing skills throughout the term.

How do you think this experience will help you in the future?

This experience has given me a new understanding of the meaning and purpose behind community work and the important role that non-profit organizations have in our communities.

Being in HLTH 481 with Dr. Kelly Anthony has been such a great experience! As a professor, she really encourages us to think critically and deeply about the community work we are doing. This is a skill that I have now learned to utilize more in this class, and I will continue to use in my public health career moving forward.