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Role Model: Aaliyah Paris

Posted by Kelsey Schroeder on

WYL: Tell us a bit about yourself!

AP: My name is Aaliyah, I was born and raised in Halifax Nova Scotia. I'm currently a junior at Citadel High School, once I graduate next year I would like to do a lot of things. Attending University of Kings College is currently at the top of my list. I enjoy instagramming, watching makeup/ natural hair tutorials on the internet, and spending time with people I care about.

WYL: Why is ending the stigma important to you? 

AP: Ending the stigma surrounding mental illness is important to me because within the African Canadian community, the struggle with mental health is often a silent one. With misunderstandings within the community around what mental illness means and barriers that prevent individuals from accessing help or safe spaces, dealing with depression, anxiety and other disorders becomes challenging and complicated. It seems as though either you are perfectly ‘normal’, or you are at the opposite end of the spectrum, which means you are suffering from psychotic symptoms or you’re ‘crazy,’ and as a result, you are ostracized. A black man or woman experiencing a mental health challenge is more likely to hide it or delay seeking help over the fear of being shunned or labelled by the people around them. Certain barriers like these can prevent us from seeking help. More mental health awareness within all communities can break down these barriers.
WYL: What is your favourite method of self-care? 

AP: My favourite method of self care involves relaxing at home while watching Netflix and drinking some tea, or coffee. Being in a clean open space also helps.

WYL: What are you most proud of yourself for?

AP: I'm most proud of myself for learning how to love and accept myself for who I am and what I've accomplished so far in life.  Working with Wear Your Label was a big step for me as well, and I'm proud of that. 

WYL: What would you tell yourself a year ago?

AP: If I were to speak to myself a year ago, I'd probably say that "Everything is going to turn out okay, you're going to make great friends, better than the ones you've had. And you're going to be successful in the things you really focus on."
Fun Q's 

1. Cats or dogs?

It's so hard to choose between cats and dogs because they're all so cute, but I think I'll go with dogs! :)

2. Fav food?

My favourite food is probably won ton soup.
 
3. Fav song RIGHT NOW?

My favourite song right now is Butterfly, by Rajaton. My jazz choir is currently working on this piece, it's a bop.

4. What did you want be when you were little?

When I was younger I wanted to be a paleontologist, I always loved dinosaurs
I still find them highly interesting. I just think maybe, I'm needed elsewhere.

8 comments


  • Aaliyah you are spot on ! As a black woman who has and still experiences challenges due to mental illness I know just how important it is for the African Canadian community to have a conversation about it ! So inspiring to know young women like yourself are taking the initiative to start a conversation ! Keep it up girl ! You are going places :)

    Mina on

  • You truly are an inspiration in our family, Aaliyah! Your Mom is an amazing mother to you and your brother, and you all make us proud. Keep your head screwed on right and stay true to yourself! Your younger cousins are watching you and we couldn’t ask for a better role model!!! Love you Dear! xoxoxo

    SHIRLEY PARKER on

  • I am so Proud of you Aaliyah. I have believed in you since the day I found out I was pregnant with you ?.
    I will always be your #1 supporter.
    You have overcome so much in your life so far,you go for what you what in life and do not give up. I can’t wait to see what you do next.
    Love Mom.

    Bethany on

  • Very nice… you are definitely an inspiring role model!

    Ken & Sheila Robertson on

  • I think you are wonderful. I suppose being your grandmother makes me a little bit biased. I do know that you will be successful in anything you do. Love you.

    Darlene on

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