Ali Awan Simrah

Student Affairs Office Publications and Highlights Student Stories Ali Awan Simrah
Motto: Education, regardless of age, is the key to happiness.

Ali Awan Simrah dedicates much of her spare time to promoting the integration of young people from diverse cultural backgrounds into the mainstream of Hong Kong society. Through her volunteer work, she wants to be a role model for the youngsters she encounters

Fluent in Urdu, English and Cantonese, Awan gives classes free of charge at community centres to enhance the language skills of children from ethnic minority groups. “Greater proficiency in English and Cantonese is essential if they want to do better at local secondary schools and have hopes of progressing to tertiary education.” Awan says. She also develops her young students' interest in wider learning and considers their social needs by organising outdoor group activities built around a theme. As a volunteer, Awan also teaches English to senior citizens

A steadily increasing number of HKMU's ethnic minority students have been applying for the Ethnic Minority Student Award (EMSA), an award to recognise their good performance. Awan thinks the award helps enhance their integration into campus life. “It is a good way to encourage them to engage with others and take that first step out of their comfort zones. It also goes a long way towards helping build self-confidence.”

Awan's current career ambition is to become an English teacher, preferably at a secondary school for Hong Kong Chinese students. “I don't think there are many English teachers from ethnic minority groups, who aren't native English speakers,” she says. “I want to show local students they can excel at English even though they learn it as a second language.”