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Asian Star-Vinita Puri

Asian Star-Vinita Puri

Vinita Puri

Native Village/Country parent’s background
I am born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario. My parents immigrated from New
Delhi, India in 1975. We are Punjabi Sikh.
Your Early Education
After completing high school, I attended York University to pursue a Specialized
Honours B.A. in Sociology. I also obtained a Professional Certification in Dispute
Resolution and Refugee/Migration Studies. After working for a few years in the
social service sector, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Social Work at Wilfrid
Laurier University; specializing in Community, Policy, Planning and
Organizations (CPPO). My practicum was completed with the City of Toronto,
Access, Equity and Human Rights Grant Program. After completing my studies, I
registered as a licensed Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers
and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). I worked in healthcare, corrections,
education and social services for a few years and then pursued another Master’s
degree at the University of Cambridge (U.K.). My specialization was in Violence
Prevention Research within the Institute of Criminology. At the present time, I am
pursuing a PhD in Psychology from Walden University (USA).
Your career advancement initiatives, volunteer work and present occupation
For the past 20 years, I have worked in the field of Social Work, Mediation and
Consulting. I have had the privilege and opportunity to facilitate, train and coach
individuals and groups in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR); Crisis
Intervention Stress Management (CISM); Mental Health First Aid (MHFA);
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST); Strategic Planning and Risk
Management. I volunteer my time as an Interprofessional Educator (IPE) with the
University of Toronto and as a Graduate Student Ambassador with the American
Psychological Association (APA). My passion and interest is in teaching and I
hope to become a Professor at a University one day. Also, I am privileged and
honoured that I am FINALIST for Ms. Canada World Universal-Elite-
2020/2021 and a Delegate for Mrs. Universe Canada 2020/2021.
Your Regret in Life
None! I am blessed for all that I have. I have always taken risks and lived life to
the fullest.
Pick Any One of Your Best Achievements

Graduating with a Masters Degree from the most prestigious educational
institution in the world: Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge (U.K.).
Were You Ever Discriminated?
Absolutely! When I was growing up, I faced racism and discrimination. I was a
victim of bullying for many years not just because of my cultural/racial
background but because I am visually impaired.
Are You Happy in Canada?
Yes! I am so proud to be Canadian. This is the best country in the world to call
Any Comments on Canada’s Culture
Canada promotes multiculturalism and tolerance of all people regardless of age,
gender, race, class, religion, ability, orientation, etc. The Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms is entrenched in our Constitution and it guarantees the rights
and freedoms for us all to live in a free and democratic society.
Any Comments on Canada’s Weather
The weather has been changing because of Global warming. We have been getting
polarized weather patterns (extreme cold and hot). This is a Global trend.
What Brought You Success in Canada?
Family support and internal self motivation and determination.
Are You Willing to Help New Immigrants and How?
Always. I am a Social Worker by profession, and I link new immigrants and other
marginalized communities with resources and supports. I have also presented
workshops at not-for-profit organizations such as Shubh Helping Hands and Indus
Community Services (formerly India Rainbow Club Services).
Your Message for Canadians of Asian Origin
Canada is a wonderful country that embraces people of all backgrounds and
experiences. Though it may be challenging to settle in the beginning, you can be
successful and live a great quality of life. Make efforts to link with community
based resources to get support. Canada is home to the “World”.

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