This post is part of our Behind the Scenes @PCYI_Org series. This series gives us an opportunity to share news about the various projects we’re working on, but it’s also a chance for you to learn more about us and to ask questions and make suggestions to help improve the quality of our work. Today our post is courtesy of Shelina, the Director of Success by 6.
We began this staff and volunteer blog series in the Fall of 2012. I have never written a blog but I was told it is an opportunity to write about what I know, whatever motivates me and why do I do what I do.
I have been in the social service sector for the last 20 years. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Ever since I was a little girl, my parents were always involved in the community, finding ways to give back. Even though, as newcomers, my parents were busy settling in a new country they still made it priority to become involved in our new community. Social work seemed like the most natural fit for me. Often, I come across people who say if they could go back in time and change their career choice they would make different decisions. I always find that hard to relate to as I can’t imagine doing anything else. I strongly feel that I have a responsibility to be an advocate and an agent of social change.
I have spent most of my professional life in the Violence Against Women (VAW) sector. I believe that the constant struggles of raising awareness and breaking down barriers are important aspects to ensuring that support and help is available and accessed. Underlying, all of this is my strong feeling of responsibility to help and support those who may not have a voice. For those individuals who are marginalized, we have a responsibility to create an environment where people have access to equality are able to reach their full potential.
This commitment only became stronger for me when I became a mother. Motherhood reinforced for me that I needed to ensure that my daughter’s world was going to be a healthy and happy place for her to thrive. She is my miracle child and it took a lot of praying for her to come into our lives. This only makes my mission stronger.
The work I do today in the area of the Early Years is essential to living out my core values and my commitment to my daughter. The foundation that we build in the community for our children is an essential component of our work. The Early Years sector continues to show me that there are many things that can be done for our children when we integrate our efforts, we use research and evidence to inform our planning and we seek out and integrate voices of families. My daughter teaches me every day the joys of seeing the world through her eyes, where we can create environments of equality and respect.
I dedicate this blog to my parents who set my mission in motion and to my daughter, Israa, who continues to ignite and keep my mission alive!!
Shelina Jeshani is leading the Strengthening the Early Years Strategy in her capacity as Director of Success By 6. Shelina holds a Masters in Social Work and has extensive experience leading many collaborative initiatives in Peel Region including: The HEAL Network and Safer Families Program. She was instrumental in establishing the first Family Justice Centre in the GTA (now known as Safe Centre of Peel), a collaboration of more than 16 organizations.