Dear all, Happy Valentine’s and the Chinese New Year! My name is Fei. I am a 3rd year nutrition student at Ryerson. It took me a long way to get to where I am now. I was born and grew up in Beijing, China. My mother brought me to Ottawa when I was 15, not because she found a better job here or that my family decided to immigrate here but to satisfy my curiosity for a world outside my world. Fair enough, my reckless curiosity was punished as I spoke neither English nor French. Luckily it didn’t stop me from becoming the stereotypical Asian nerd who had a passion for science. Predictably I entered the University of Toronto where I studied genetics and now I am at Ryerson completing my second degree in nutrition. Through my experiences at Ryerson, I opened my eyes to many factors that intricately affect people’s lives and the quality of life, such as the social determinants of health, inequalities and policies. Knowing the science of nutrition and health alone is no longer sufficient to improve the standard of living if the underlying issues of the social determinants and inequalities are not targeted. As for my own growth, how can I know the kind of issues and deprivation some people are going through without at least trying to live that life myself? Once again, I would like to see a world outside my own. I hope that our pursuit of community involvement and social justice does not end with this course. There will always be people needing our help and voice in many ways. Perhaps we as a student group cannot change the world during our brief two-week field trip at New Orleans, but through our effort of social advocacy I hope that we eventually can influence many others who wish to do the same. I have many thanks to Tanya and Pascal who made this invaluable experience possible for us.

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