Kanwar Boparai, Pharmacology Specialist

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As a leader, I have dedicated myself to uphold my philosophy which is rooted in advocacy, passion, and support. These principles have pushed me to strive for success as a leader, allowing me to encourage growth for myself and my peers along the way.

I have always believed that empathy and advocacy are crucial to leadership. A leader should be understanding of their peers and should hope to support their needs. Upon joining the Pharmacology & Toxicology Students’ Association, I knew immediately that I wanted to advocate for the mental well-being of my peers. As an executive and upper year mentor, I became directly involved in fostering an environment of support for my peers. This year, as Co-President, we were able to form course-specific study groups embedded into our lounge days. This created a space where students could bounce off their peers for academic support, all while being in a stress-free environment with provided refreshments, and additional mental health resources.

Moreover, I have seen that the most productive results come from passionate leaders. Throughout my undergraduate journey, I have had the privilege of joining diverse research labs, based within the university or at local hospitals. Through various projects, displayed leadership and hard work, I have strengthened my passion for education and clinical research. These endeavours have enriched my drive, resilience, and ability to communicate as a leader.

Lastly, I believe it is crucial for a leader to support and collaborate with their team. As a leader, I have displayed this support throughout various volunteer endeavours, whether they be at local hospitals, student unions, or through my volunteer trips to Ghana, Panama and Dominican Republic. As an Outreach executive at UofT’s Global Medical Training chapter, while facilitating fundraisers or events, I have focused on communicating with my team and providing guidance wherever possible. My importance in providing support has been vested in me from a young age, through hurdles in my personal life. While certain circumstances initially discouraged me, I am glad that they have allowed me to remain resilient and become a supportive leader- even throughout the most difficult endeavours.

As a leader, you can empower your team to believe in themselves, beyond any difficulties or technicalities. For the past 4 years, as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, my most valued accomplishment has been dedicating myself to uphold my leadership philosophy- and I hope to continually do so with all my future endeavours.