Students in the Spotlight: Farah Rahim

May 18, 2021 by School of Cities Staff

"Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Urban Leadership Fellowship and Academy program

Farah rahim headshot

  • What are your research and engagement interests?

    My research and engagement interests primarily revolve around transit and accessibility. As an avid bus-taker myself I’ve become really interested in and observant of how public transit systems operate and how different groups and communities can access them. 

  • What has motivated your interests and journey? How do you hope to make a difference?

    I’ve been interested in transit and accessibility for a few years now, ever since I first started taking public transit. I started to notice how important transit systems are for people who may not have access to a personal vehicle because they often spend a lot of time travelling. After that I got an opportunity to complete an 8-month work term at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation in 2020 and upon seeing municipalities implement transit systems firsthand, I realized that public transit really changes people’s lives. I hope to make a difference by increasing more awareness about the crucial role transit plays in the lives of many residents in the city. 

  • What’s the latest project you have been working on that you would like to share with the SofC audiences?

    Lately I’ve been working on a project about women’s perception of public transit in Toronto. I’m focusing specifically on the experiences of women in low-income neighborhoods, in an effort to help inform improvements to the system in the future. 

  • As a student, researcher and or activist, what have you learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and its global impact? How do you envision post-pandemic recovery? What do you hope for?

    Through being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve certainly learned how important it is to be flexible and realistic with one’s life goals and circumstances because the pandemic has taught me that everything can change in an instant. I envision the post-pandemic recovery to be difficult and interesting. I’m sure things that were once considered to be normal ( i.e.. eating indoors and being in crowded public spaces) will seem strange and foreign. I’m looking forward to regaining some sense of normalcy and I hope that everyone will come out stronger after the pandemic passes. 

  • Please share with us your experiences at the SofC. How do you think being a member of the SofC Urban Leadership Fellowship and Academy Program has contributed to your scholarship and added to your experience as a student?

    Being a part of the SofC Urban Leadership Fellowship and Academy Program has opened my eyes to all the talent and cool projects at the University of Toronto! Having discussions with other student fellows, academy members, and mentors has encouraged me to explore new ideas and take on new opportunities. The program has enhanced my experience  by connecting with other students in different programs and campuses who I may not have otherwise crossed paths with. I’m grateful to be a part of this community because everyone is so kind and willing to help each other grow. 

  • Any final word or message?

    I hope everyone will take the time to explore what the School of Cities has to offer! There are so many cool things happening all the time, so I encourage students to keep an eye out

Student Bio:

Farah Rahim is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Scarborough, pursuing a double major in English and Public Policy Co-op. Currently she is the president of the Students of English Literature and Film (SELF) and also works as an undergraduate research assistant in the Department of English. This year she completed an 8 month work term at the Ministry of Transportation where she worked on the Community Transportation Grant Program team and gained knowledge of the policy making process in government. Farah is interested in transportation policy and accessibility especially as it relates to low-income and vulnerable groups in the City of Toronto.