The Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement is proud to present the winner of the Marcel Côté Community Service Leadership Award 2017 to Kedous Mekbib, Faculty of Science.
For Kedous Mekbib, a third year biomedical science student, the meaning of community engagement is finding a need in your community and working to fill it. That is where the Association of Black Aspiring Physicians (ABAP), whose co-president this year was Kedous, comes in.
ABAP is a student run non-profit organization founded at the University of Ottawa and a chapter of Community of Support (COS), an initiative founded at the University of Toronto to increase the number of Indigenous, Black or economically disadvantaged students in medical school. ABAP seeks to address the underrepresentation of black students in med school by supporting those interested in a career in medicine through talks, workshops and mentorship.
Kedous was instrumental in developing ABAP’s events, membership and outreach on and off campus. His tasks included contacting different members and associations, coming up with ideas to improve the association, delegating tasks and coordinating events. One of ABAP’s biggest and most successful events was White Coats, Black Doctors, which featured black physicians, residents and medical students speaking about their experiences in medicine and helping students prepare themselves for medical school.
Another highlight was the Medinar, a webinar where speakers from all across Canada discussed their specialities and their journey to medicine. Numerous physicians participated, including a former Rhodes scholar, a Yale graduate and plastic surgeon, and others.
Kedous says volunteering has helped him develop as a person and have the best undergraduate experience. He strongly encourages first year students to take part in their communities and make an impact on the student body. “It gives the opportunity to meet new people and take part in amazing experiences,” he says.
When it comes to leadership, Kedous says you need “good ideas and a vision for your organization. You need commitment and passion to what you’re doing and a willingness to do anything. A true leader needs to work hard and lead by example to effectively coordinate a team.”
As for the future, Kedous wants the Association of Black Aspiring Physicians to grow. He took the first step by expanding ABAP to Carleton University this past year.
For his extraordinary leadership skills and strong self-motivation, Kedous Mekbib is the recipient of the Marcel Côté Leadership in Community Service award for 2017.