While leadership resides organically within me, acquiring a position of student leadership at the University of Toronto was a decision that I determinedly made. After going on an international exchange year, I knew that the first thing I wanted to do upon return was to connect with my local community and to give back. I applied to be an Alternative Reading Week leader with the Centre for Community Partnerships and joined the Equity Studies Student Union, opening the way for the most challenging yet exhilarating journey at Uoft.
My leadership engagement has allowed me to shape my academics in ways that let me see myself as proactive actor in my community, to develop skills that made me confident in myself, and to build social connections that make being a leader so rewarding.
I feel extremely honoured and grateful to have been nominated and selected for a Cressy Award because this opportunity has led me to meet the most remarkable and innovative graduating leaders in the University. I feel joyful, reaffirmed and inspired to know that so many youth at our University are devoted to leadership and to the improvement of their respective academic fields and communities.
To students who are considering getting involved beyond the classroom, I would say: do not be afraid, do not wait for years to develop a loud and clear voice that matters, but most importantly, do not prevent yourself from experiencing the beauty of contributing to the shaping of others’ own leader within.