Business grad fights to empower the underprivileged • Troy Media

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Hanna Daniel’s dedication to volunteering in the community and supporting her fellow students has created a legacy that will live on after she graduates from U of A. “Impact is what’s most important to me . (Photo: John Ulan)

Like an itch that needs scratching, when Hanna Daniel sees something just waiting to be done, she doesn’t consider it optional.

So when the business student arrived at the University of Alberta and realized that there was no group on campus for black students, she set about creating one. a.

After a fair amount of work overcoming challenges to get the group off the ground, Daniel and his co-founders launched the university’s first black student association in 2018 with a growing number of undergraduate students representing the Africa, the Caribbean and North America. It was a safe forum to air shared experiences of racism and discrimination, but more importantly, to foster student development and strengthen community interaction among students, she said.

“I think we set it up to be successful, and the last two years of leadership have been really solid, so hopefully that will continue forever,” says Daniel.

It was just the beginning of four blistering years in a business program that included almost as much volunteering as class time. Nothing new for Daniel, who says his most memorable experiences come from outside the classroom.

A 2022 graduate of the University of Alberta School of Business, Daniel focused on economics and business law while taking courses in criminal justice sociology along the way.

During her studies, she worked as a legal assistant for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton, helping lawyers provide support to people going through legal proceedings in adult criminal court who cannot afford to pay a lawyer or lack the knowledge necessary to properly navigate the legal system.

“As a member of a visible minority and a woman of color, I understood from an early age that we are not all born with the same amount of knowledge, wealth and generational privilege,” Daniel said.

“My criminology courses and my internship with Elizabeth Fry have highlighted the immense work that remains to be done to make our justice system fair and equitable.”

In a long list of volunteer contributions, Daniel has also served as volunteer coordinator for the Federation of Black Canadians, participated in the university’s ambassador program, and represented the Alberta School of Business on the Alberta JDC team. West.

She hopes to one day travel overseas to try her hand at overseas development work.

As the daughter of Ethiopian parents, Daniel strives for diversity in almost everything she does – background, experience and opinions.

“I love meeting new people and absorbing different perspectives,” says the Utah native who moved to Edmonton with her family when she was young.

As an experiential learning teaching assistant at the Alberta School of Business, she helped students learn about various placement opportunities to advance their career goals.

“She understands what resonates with students, what attracts them, and what their questions might be,” says Devan West, manager of experiential learning programs at the School of Business.

“His ability to see things from a holistic perspective is truly phenomenal. She’s fantastic at connecting the dots and making information sing.

The work Daniel has done for the school will continue to support students for years to come, adds West.

To top off his degree, Daniel earned a leadership certificate from the School of Business and already has his first job at a Calgary management consulting firm called Accenture.

But in the long term, she aspires to a career beyond Canada’s borders while continuing to scratch that insatiable urge to get things done.

“I would love to volunteer or possibly work internationally, maybe in Africa doing work that boosts local economies and young people of color who are not getting the investment they deserve. The impact is what is most important to me.

| By Geoff McMaster

Geoff is a reporter for the online magazine Folio at the University of Alberta. The University of Alberta is an editorial content provider partner of Troy Media.


The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are their own and do not inherently or expressly reflect the opinions of our publication.

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