Spotlight: Deema Al Asmi, The Citizens’ Foundation

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Sabrina Guillen
Communications Assistant
Wed, 01/22/2020 - 11:15

One of my favourite things about campus life at the University of Waterloo is the diverse opportunities to get involved, meet new people, and make a difference. At WUSA, we're happy to provide experiences that enhance student life and prepare us for the transition from university to the professional world.

We're shining this Spotlight on Deema Al Asmi, a fourth-year honours co-op student in Health Studies who volunteers with the WUSA Clubs chapter of The Citizens’ Foundation (TCF) [external link], an organization that raises funds to provide education for underprivileged children in Pakistan and raises awareness for children who struggle to access education around the world.

Deema Al Asmi Deema has served as Vice President Marketing and Communication for spring 2019 and Event Planning Director for fall 2019. She first became interested in TCF because of her background as a Syrian refugee from Jordan, where issues within the country were restricting her chance at a good post-secondary education. Deema says that her life was completely changed when she, among a lucky few, was accepted into the WUSC sponsorship program [external link] at Waterloo. Her experience of struggling for education has made her passionate about working to provide opportunities for the underprivileged around the world, particularly women, who often face equality barriers in other countries. TCF was a way for her to give back to those facing the same challenges she once did.

"It is honestly so easy to underestimate what we usually have and how important it is," she said. "People in Canada are privileged with good education and opportunities, which is amazing. However, this is not the case everywhere in the world." 

The executive team at TCF found Deema to be extremely energetic and engaged. Her dedication to TCF truly showed how passionate she was about her work, always putting her best foot forward. She was always looking to push her team to new heights, while still taking the time to appreciate the work they were putting in. As a true leader, she effectively managed and assisted her team. One of the biggest struggles she faced was to establish consistent availability with a team made up entirely of student volunteers. That’s when she would jump in herself and work to meet goals, regardless of the number of hours it took. Deema took her executive role very seriously as she believes that, "...as a leader, you need to be detail oriented because you are responsible for ensuring the success of the tasks you were assigned." Her success largely came out of her ability to work smoothly with the TCF team and her flexibility to change, regardless of the road blocks that cropped up.

Deema loves her role with TCF as she believes that, "...marketing is an essential factor for any organization to succeed”. She helped create an entirely new marketing strategy based on Humans of New York (HONY) [external link] which dramatically increased engagement and outreach. As Events Director, she was also successful at effectively coordinating with the different divisions of her team to arrange supplies and ensure they were keeping within their budget. One of her other favourite marketing campaigns was in the spring 2019 term, when TCF wanted to focus on presenting themselves on a larger scale to more students around campus. This was a two-fold initiative where they wanted to engage students to spread more awareness about education in developing countries - and engagement is exactly what Deema wants more of! She thinks the best way to do that is by asking questions.

A great way to get involved around campus is by exploring the opportunities that are there. A great place to start is our Clubs & Services page! Some other great ways to get involved are coming out to Clubs Day, joining different Facebook groups or keeping up with our events calendar.

Deema’s hard work for TCF has come largely from her personal passion and seeing how impactful it can be.

Deema has helped spread TCF’s message more effectively and created a supportive team environment that will ensure the success of future initiatives. We wish her and the TCF team the best of luck with their upcoming events and campaigns!

To learn more about the UWaterloo Chapter of the Citizens’ Foundation, you can check out their Facebook page.