Monica Bahoshy, a U2 pharmacology student, is no stranger to encountering new and difficult situations.
As such, she has used her life experiences to help others in less fortunate experiences.
Originally from Burlington, Ontario, Bahoshy moved to Abu Dhabi when she was 16 years old. She studied at an American school in Abu Dhabi for her last two years of high school before returning to Canada.
“Moving to a different country was pretty difficult at first,” Bahoshy said. “When I first moved [to Abu Dhabi] I felt like I was a really shy person. I had a hard time making friends at the beginning. But when I came back [to Canada], I had developed skills at making friends, which really helped me at McGill. ”
Bahoshy enjoyed attending an international school because it introduced her to a variety of people, cultures, and circumstances that she would have otherwise not been exposed to.
“[It] taught me how to communicate with and learn from people who come from different backgrounds than me, which I think helped me grow as a person,” Bahoshy said.
Bahoshy’s experience in Abu Dhabi has led her to take an interest in helping others ease into new and difficult living situations of their own. It inspired her to take an interest in the struggles of refugees coming to Canada. Bahoshy is currently a member of McGill’s “B. Refuge” club, which helps incoming refugees get settled and become part of the Montreal community through a variety of fundraisers.
“What inspired me to join [Be a Refuge] is that my parents are Iraqi,” Bahoshy said. “Right now with the [war in Iraq], there [are] a lot of people leaving as refugees and coming to Canada. And so that pushed me towards joining the club and helping people who are like my family.”
The skills Bahoshy developed in Abu Dhabi are useful, as she will be helping refugees coming in from Africa, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.
“I feel that refugees have a really hard time when they come to the country because they often have no money and nobody [to support them],” Bahoshy said. “It’s really important to help them become part of the community and get their foot in the door.”
Bahoshy has also partaken in other endeavours that seek to help and mentor others. This year she joined Big Buddies, a club that tutors children in elementary and secondary school in the Montreal community. Bahoshy will begin tutoring first grade students in their general curriculum.
“I look forward to helping out in the classroom and enhance the learning experience of the students, because I think education is really important––especially at a young age,” Bahoshy said.
In the future, Bahoshy hopes to continue helping others as she considers a career in either dentistry or pharmaceuticals. For now, however, her hands are full with her studies and extracurriculars, as well as her commitment to contributing towards creating a more accepting and welcoming environment.
McGill Tribune (MT): Ideal vacation spot?
Monica Bahoshy (MB): Bodrum, Turkey, or Morocco.
MT: What would you want your last meal on earth to be?
MB: Red curry.
MT: Favourite Montreal spot?
MB: Parc Lafontaine.
MT: If you could be any Disney character, which would you be?
MB: Princess Jasmine.
MT: If you could see any performer live, who would it be?
A previous version of this article ran on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. The corrected version was updated Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. The Tribune regrets these errors.