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Since the program’s inception, four graduates have been accepted to the University of Toronto and received the Fitzgerald Junior Fellowship Scholarship. Through the Fitzgerald Junior Fellowship Program, two current students were introduced to a research opportunity that connected them to community partners to facilitate a community-based research project. These two students have received $33,000 in funding to support their research.

Current Fellows

Maimuna Akhter
Maha Khan

Maimuna Akhter has been a part of the Outreach and Access program since its inception at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, in 2018. She graduated from the Outreach and Access program in 2020 and became a Fitzgerald Scholar. Maimuna is also a University of Toronto Scholar. The Outreach and Access program sparked Maimuna’s interest in public health in high school. During her first year of university, she participated in a bi-weekly fellowship with Professor Leslie Boehm, furthering her interest and understanding of the field.  

Maimuna is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. She is pursuing a double major in psychology and neuroscience. In her spare time, Maimuna enjoys reading and biking. 

Maha Khan is a 3rd year student at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, completing a double major in Human Biology and Psychology. Maha participated in the Outreach and Access program from 2018 to 2020. Maha joined with the aim of learning more about public health and how she can be a part of it.  

Maha always envisioned a career that lets her interact with a diverse group of people and explore different opportunities in health care and the Outreach and Access program was able to offer her this.  

Through the Outreach and Access Program, Maha earned her first research opportunity and her first scholarship award (Fitzgerald Scholarship Award). As a Fitzgerald Scholar, Maha has acquired important skills such as public speaking, a convenient skill she hopes to use throughout her undergrad and in her future career. This program has helped Maha shape her undergraduate years and has influenced her postgraduate plans as well. Maha hopes to pursue a master’s in public health and continue to search for research opportunities. 

Xavier Williams
Nala Bailey

Xavier Williams, is a first-year student at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, where he is currently studying public policy and health studies. He is also a competitive weightlifter and currently holds the title of Provincial State Champ in the 109 kg youth division. For the past four years, he has participated in the Dalla Lana Outreach program. Xavier worked hard and acquired knowledge about the healthcare system, public health system, social determinants of health and health inequalities in Canada. It has made him more aware of the healthcare system’s operations and its issues both before and after the pandemic.  

Xavier has also gained some important life skills through the Outreach program. Consistency, leadership, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. He has found that these skills helped him succeed in high school and continue to help him as a first-year university student. Xavier states “being able to share ideas and thoughts with others and being open-minded about their point. Views and ideas are essential for success. There’s collaboration, communication, and teamwork in anything you do, these skills will always show.” 

Nala Bailey is one of the dedicated few who had the honor of receiving the Fitzgerald Scholarship. Throughout four years in the Outreach and Access program, she has had a positive experience through her engagement with mentors and faculty members, who she has been able to form meaningful connections with. When Nala first entered the Outreach and Access Program, she was in grade ten, shy, and suffered from speech apprehension. Nala also had little to no idea of what she wanted for herself in the future, regarding her postsecondary and career options. 

With help from mentors, she developed critical thinking skills and improved her communication skills through public health-related discourses and through group discussions/ activities. Within the Outreach and Access program, she was introduced to public health-related concepts and ideas. One memorable moment for Nala was when she was introduced to the social determinants of health. She learned that there were social-economic factors that have an impact on health outcomes which was eye-opening and caused her to want to make systematic changes within marginalized communities.   

After graduating as an honor roll student from Runnymede Collegiate Institute in 2022, she was influenced to further her education at the University of Toronto, where she is working towards a major in health studies. Moving forward, Nala aims to complete her undergraduate years then move onwards to a master’s degree in public health and eventually become a social epidemiologist.