Sarah Aoun is currently a 5th-year medical student studying at Bahçeşehir University. She is Tunisian but has spent her entire childhood in Saudi Arabia. “Although I wouldn’t take it back for the world, this has always led me to feel slightly out of place wherever I go. In time, I realized, diverse communities like Istanbul & I is where I truly feel at home.” said Sarah.
Sarah got to know Istanbul&I last year during Ramadan, in April 2022, as part of the Iftar and Community project. She would gather her friends to help volunteer for the food distribution and make a day out of it, and that’s when she first got introduced to the HR team. The organization as a whole made a strong impression on her, so, after Ramadan, she joined the HR team and took on the position of Orientation Officer. Sarah points out that It was an interesting choice for her as this role was extremely out of her comfort zone. She adds that she has a genuine fear of public speaking but everyone at I&I could not have been more supportive, which made it one of the best experiences she has had. That is when she realized that this community is what’s been missing from her life in Istanbul.
Sarah was able to finally find an outlet for herself to give back to the community through Istanbul&I. To this date, she has been able to participate in all the different events I&I has to offer. “The satisfaction I get from participating in I&I’s volunteer projects has definitely solidified my choice in the field of medicine to help others, and gave me the confidence to keep working hard towards my goals.” Sarah added.
Here is her answer to “Why do you volunteer at Istanbul&i?”
Istanbul&I creates an environment that is curated to nurture the individuals that are part of the community and help them grow. As soon as I walk through the doors of the office my mood is immediately uplifted when I greet everyone, to this day I’ve never left feeling anything less than content Being a part of Istanbul&I has had such a significant impact on my life and I’m grateful every day for the opportunities to meet people and make connections that I couldn’t have had anywhere else.
I volunteer because it brings me fulfillment to give back to the community in addition to the perk of being part of a community that looks out for me and supports me. This is More than I could ever ask for.
“Working with Sarah has been a nice experience so far. Her quick integration in our community was amazing! At the beginning of 2022, she participated in our community's activities and showed her interest to become a volunteer. Eventually, she joined as a volunteer and took a leadership position and became our Orientation Officer. What amazes us is that she's a fast learner and has the ability to convey information in a concise way! Her presence has been instrumental during our last recruitments and we are really glad to have her on board.” - Chand, Executive Coordinator
Written by Sarah Aoun 14/1/2023