Bukola Salami

Top 40 Under 40 2016

Photography Curtis Comeau

Age: 35

Job Title: Assistant Professor, University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing

Why She’s Top 40: She’s working on data that could improve the well-being of immigrants in this country and around the world.

Aspiration: Create effective programs and policies for immigrants to Canada.

As a native Nigerian who came to Canada in 1997, Bukola Salami can certainly identify with the obstacles facing most immigrants to this country. She remembers how her mother, a single parent, struggled. She’d work 70 hours a week, holding down two jobs, to make ends meet.

Salami credits her mindset of sticking to long-term goals and a mentorship program at the University of Toronto for getting her out of poverty. While she officially convocated in 2014, she moved to Edmonton from Toronto in 2013 after receiving her PhD. But she hasn’t forgotten the experience and is conducting research to help less fortunate immigrants. Her major focus these days is studying the health of immigrant children and temporary foreign workers.

She’s also on the board of Africa Centre, an immigrant service provider, and was appointed by Alberta Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman to be a member of the council on the Alberta College of Social Workers. More recently, Salami is heading a funded project to examine parenting and mental-health promotion practices affecting African immigrants in Alberta. But while she’s grateful for being able to pursue her career in Edmonton, Salami never takes her focus off the goal she’s set for herself and a community she cares about.

“I’m glad to be where I am,” she says. “But it’s really important to build the capacity of immigrants to see a much more prosperous future for them in Alberta.”

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