Richmond Review: 30 Under 30: Aamir Sheriff

Feb 27, 2012

By Martin van den Hemel – Richmond Review

Age: 20. High School: R.A. McMath.

When Aamir Sheriff helped lead an initiative to open his mosque’s doors to the public, he didn’t think the efforts would be so successful.

But some 300 people from all parts of the community, and many faiths, participated in Journey into Islam, which served to clear up people’s misconceptions about the Muslim faith. In fact, the event was so successful, organizers are now mulling over whether to make it an annual offering.

“I think the responsibility of all of us is to do something beyond the walls of our mosque,” he said.

Sheriff is currently studying business at Simon Fraser University and is originally from Bangalore, India. He and his family moved to Richmond eight years ago, and he said he’s proud to live in such a diverse community of people who respect each others differences.

Who is your inspiration? “My inspiration comes from those who surround me. Wherever I am, whether it be at home, with other members of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), or with friends, I know I’m part of a group of individuals who stay up late at night working on what they’re passionate about. This keeps me going in my pursuits.”

What are you most proud of? “At a conference for our Bright Ideas program under SIFE, the parents of a high school participant were truly inspired by their son’s efforts in creating a social venture and making an impact. I wasn’t directly responsible for his achievements, but I’m proud to say that SIFE inspired him and that I was there to witness his successes.”

What is your advice for others? “My main advice for others is to find others who share the same passions, gain from their motivation, and together turn ideas into action. Throughout all this, don’t take on more than you can handle, so that in the end, you know you put in your 100 per cent.”

What planted the seed for your eventual involvement with SFU’s Students in Free Enterprise?“After exploring a few other organizations at SFU, I realized that SIFE would allow me to explore my passion for entrepreneurship, learn how to successfully manage projects while gaining advice and constructive criticism from my peers, and make an impact in the community at the same time.”

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? “I see myself continuing my education in some form or another, maybe completing my MBA. I also see myself running a social venture or a small business, one that allows me to give back to the community.”

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