Meet Yasir Syed! Strathearn community member and SECLA VP

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Yasir, I have been a resident of Strathearn since 2003.  Since that time, I have worked in the inner city at Boyle Street Community Services and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.  More recently I have worked as a Registered Massage Therapist at the Edmonton General Hospital and Moksha Yoga Studios.  Yasir1

I recently started on a fresh career path and am currently working at the University of Alberta as a Cognitive Strategy Instructor.  I moved to Edmonton from Camrose, Alberta 20 years ago to attend the University of Alberta… so it’s very exciting for me to find myself back at my alma matter teaching.

When and why did you get involved with the Strathearn Community League?

Around the same time, I shifted career paths a little over a year ago, Strathearn held its annual AGM at Juniper Bistro.  I found myself drawn to the event for a number of reasons… The organizational strength of the community league was evident with events like the Strathearn Art Walk, the initiative to build the new community hall as well as promoting great local establishments like Juniper and the Wired Cup.  I wanted to support my community and add my perspective to the community conversation.

With encouragement from current board members, I was elected Social Director at the AGM and have been serving as the Strathearn rep at SECLA (South East Community League Association) meetings since the fall as well.

What’s your favourite part of being SCL’s Social Director?

My favourite part of being Strathearn social director is learning about the great events that this community league continues to put on.  There are so many wonderful opportunities to grow events and awareness of events in our beautiful community.

Regarding your new role as VP of SECLA, do you have any visions for southeast cooperation/collaboration?

In my new role as VP of SECLA, my focus is on unifying the SECLA community as a cooperative, inclusive community. I would love to see the individual smaller communities support one another’s events, artists and entrepreneurs.  It would also be wonderful to extend membership of SECLA to some of our closely neighboring communities that form a natural fit for SELCA.  I am also very excited about continuing our work on the community skate park, specifically naming it and building an eco-sensitive parking lot for the space.

What has motivated you to be so involved in both SCL and SECLA?

The motivation for my involvement in these community leagues comes from having lived in the community for over a decade and seeing how amazing and resilient the community members are.  It can only strengthen our sense of safety and yasirbelonging by bringing a keener awareness to how we can support our own and our neighbour communities.

What has been your favourite volunteer moment in Strathearn and why?

My favorite volunteer moment came at last year’s Art Walk.  It is so amazing seeing that space transformed for the day.   I take my dog, R2D2, for a walk through that field every week and it’s a lovely feeling seeing “my back yard” enjoyed in such a collective, inspiring and celebratory way by Strathearn, SECLA and the rest of Edmonton.

If you could say one thing to prospective volunteers, what would it be?

If I could say one thing to prospective volunteers it would be…

You will meet the most amazing people volunteering for Strathearn… and the best part is… they are your neighbour!  It’s a wonderful feeling being connected to your community and feeling at home on your streets. There is no better way to forge this connection than volunteering…Give it a try! 🙂