Words of Amina El Mantari

      • “Unity and Empowerment”

        Words of Amina El Mantari for President’s Installation
        Monday, October 17, 4 p.m.
        BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts

        Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman!

        With great joy, excitement, and hope, I am deeply grateful for the privilege of being here to help welcome and congratulate our new president of Capilano University, Paul Dangerfield.

        I was asked to be part of this ceremony to represent international students and the student experience. But every student experience is different, so I believe that the best thing I can do is share a little of my story with you, and my thoughts on the importance of education.

        Today I look at all of you who are gathered to show their support to President Dangerfield, and it reminds me of all those who have supported me during my five years of studies— my professors, my mentors and my family.

        I am a fourth year business student, of Moroccan origin. I was raised in a family of 10 children, by a mother and father who do not know how to write and read, but who believe in education and high achievement. My mother is my role model who struggled to raise all of us! I am amazed at how she managed. She did it with love, kindness, and teaching us the willingness to help each other succeed. To me, this is leadership.

        I am very fortunate that I started my journey at Capilano University. I could not have imagined I would be a mother of young child while studying for my business degree. And yet, with the Capilano Children’s Centre’s dedication to helping parents succeed, I made it to this podium and am preparing to graduate in June.

        At Capilano University, I connected the dots in my life’s experience. I found my passion and pursued my Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management. I have felt empowered here to achieve my dreams, and to pursue post-secondary education.

        My ideas expanded through my involvement with students and I take that everywhere I go. I am confident that every international student feels the same way that their experience is shaping who they are today.

        Let's not forget I came a long way from Morocco, from a different belief, cultural values, speaking four languages, and raising a child on my own. Capilano University became my home, my community, and my family.

        It brought a sense of belonging and a strong connection to support one another and make the difference in every student’s life. It is a place that I will give back to.

        Mr. President: this message is particularly for you...

        Students are the treasure of this university! And post-secondary education is vital to Canada’s future prosperity. It shapes our social structure and provides a higher quality of life to our global economy.

        As students, we invest our time, money and resources to gain knowledge. We aim to graduate and be ready to make change in the world.

        This will happen by ensuring that we build new strategies that will shape the future growth of the programs and the success of students. We also must celebrate and protect the diverse, friendly, family-like and supportive culture that Capilano University is best known for.

        You are our leader. We have a full trust in you. We believe in your vision, support, continuity and mentorship so everyone succeeds.

        Let’s connect, and share the vision. The best is yet to come!

        Ladies and gentleman, today we mark a new beginning by gathering in unity and empowerment; we commit ourselves to Capilano University and student success and all it represents in a new chapter of this teaching-focused university.

        On behalf of all Capilano students, Mr President, welcome to your new home!