Closing the Loop in Style!

"In a community like this one, there are so many opportunities to be involved! It's a matter of giving and receiving. Because you have received, you give back." - Dany Bazira

Emilie Pelletier - 17 August 2016

The family is said to be the strongest link of all, and this is why Dany Bazira decided to pursue her studies at Campus Saint-Jean. She is the last and youngest of six siblings to graduate from the Francophone post-secondary institution. While studying at CSJ, the academic life of this 21-year-old Science graduate was merely ordinary.

In addition to getting involved in various student clubs, Dany Bazira also realized the benefits of working with the community. Through her actions, she developed her leadership and formed friendships, all results of her ambition to always do more. "Among others, I was adopted by the Franco-Albertan community," Dany says.

After hearing positive comments from her older brothers and sisters, the young BSc graduate decided to study at Campus Saint-Jean. Eldest sister Floriane was the first of the Bazira family to attend the CSJ. She spoke highly of the francophone campus and its benefits to her younger siblings.

Dany's first year at university has been one of discovery. She was a member of numerous clubs and got involved in the Association des Universitaires de la Faculté Saint-Jean (AUFSJ). She also served as treasurer, events coordinator and President of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). Dany also worked at the CSJ as a lab instructor and an international student assistant. According to the young woman, it is important to mix in both worlds, the academic and student life. "I didn't want to associate university to only one thing. I find it boring to only study and do nothing else," she says.

In 1994, Dany and her family left Burundi, their country of origin. Before she came to Edmonton, at age 17, she had lived in four countries in five years. "Let's say we are really good at moving," the young student says, laughing.

Taking the Time to Save Time

During her four years at CSJ, Dany was not expecting to get bored. "It's been four busy years, but also four years during which I've met many people, had a lot of great experiences, and I enjoyed working in a team environment," she explains.

She lived one of these great experience with the WUSC. The student club is in the process of sponsoring a student refugee from Malawi. Only a few more forms to complete, and he will be ready to start his first semester at CSJ, next September 2016. "I am delighted with the work we did together. This is a major achievement I am particularly proud of," Dany adds.

But Dany's real source of pride comes from the success she obtained at achieving her objectives. She also resolved to continue to participate in a new activity each year. Whether tutoring, volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, or sitting on the AUFSJ, the young woman did not lose her time waiting. "I don't like doing things twice, so I always do as much as I can. Looking back, I can see I did everything I wanted to do," she says.

Another Big Family
Alberta's francophone community is very dear to Dany's heart. Although, in Africa, she always lived in the majority Francophone communities, she was initially surprised by people's attachment to the French language. "This is good for thought. We take it for granted, because we are speaking this language since forever, but we don't realize how hard people living minority communities had to fight," she says.

According to Dany, the Franco-Albertan community is built on everyone's efforts. "It welcomes you with open arms if you open yourself to it. Belonging to it demands that you do your part. The door is open; it's just a question of whether you're going to come in or not, and this is what I find magical," the young woman mentions.

Now that she graduated from Campus Saint-Jean with a science degree, Dany Bazira is waiting for her permanent residence, and then she wants to study medicine. She is spending her summer in Quebec working as a monitor with Explore, an intensive French-immersion program.