Her new journey with the SEPTA Youth Advisory Council is just the next step for her.
Temple University is filled of ambitious, motivated students but one Owl that stands out is Yasmine Hamou. As a political science major, Hamou has evoked change and social activism via her platform and her new position in the SEPTA Youth Advisory Council, where she works to advocate for transportation on behalf of young people.
“Right now, my (personal) main priority is getting university pass enacted,” Hamou said. “I’m starting with Temple of course, and the goal is ultimately to get Temple students to pay a rate included in tuition and fees so that they can have unlimited rides on all SEPTA vehicles. This expands access to the city for students, fosters a greater sense of community, and lessens the burden of transportation costs for a demographic that typically has no steady, sufficient income.”
She also explains how this expands access to the city for students, fosters a greater sense of community, and lessens the burden of transportation costs for a demographic that typically has no steady, sufficient income. This past summer, she spent interning with the University City District, where she was able to get to know the UC/near West Philadelphia community and understand their issues firsthand.
Hamou said, “I was approached by a member of 5th Square, which is a transit-oriented political action committee here and learned about the YAC. I joined that night because I felt a great need to serve my demographic, one that I knew best.”
This cause is important to Hamou since transportation equals access to opportunity.
She said, “Being on the YAC is not going to solve these problems. No one position will. But by dipping my toes, I can begin to understand how I can change the world via improving transportation for all.”
Like many students, Hamou understands how transportation can hold students back from opportunities. She experienced not being able to take an internship or job because she had to decide between transportation costs or eating dinner that week.
“I shouldn’t have to choose between something so critical in order to reach my full potential,” Hamou said. “No one should. And so, university pass excites me because I see what the future can look like for other young, low income students like me who need everything they can get to push them in the right direction and to be upwardly mobile.”
As one of the most vocal students at Temple’s campus, Hamou is also known of her refusal to remain quiet on issues she feels passionate about. She is active on her social media, especially on Twitter, and does not hold back when she needs to say something. One of the things to know about Hamou is her open nature to let people into her life and share own struggles to the Temple community.
“I try not to have too many things about me a secret. I’m inspired by others who reveal their mistakes or failures, so I try to do the same because you never know who it will make feel less alone,” Hamou said. “My favorite part about being a young person is the freedom to make so many mistakes. They are painful, but they are not all fatal. They are all lessons and opportunity for growth. I hope that when I reveal myself to people, they don’t see just the struggle, but also the evolution.”
Written by: Gail Vivar
Photography provided by Yasmine Hamou