Categorized | Feature, Interviews

Jemy Joseph – ‘Best of Canada’

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

By Samuel Getachew


Fresh from earning a newly minted MSc in Medical Sciences from the University of Toronto mere months ago – Jemy Joseph continues to aspire for greatness.

The 26-year old University of Ottawa medical student, who has only been in Canada for 12 years, is now the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. For Joseph – who once reflected on how “my parents immigrated here in order to provide my brother and I with the best education” – she has had an extraordinary Canadian life.

Joseph was awarded the medal from her local MP, Rathika Sitsabaisean, who singled out the young academia and activism extraordinaire by name for her medical aspirations. She was one of the youngest among the 27 recipients who were awarded for services in the military, activism and contributions to the immigrant communities. The award exemplifies the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada according to the Government of Canada.

With the John H. Moss scholarship in 2008 as well as the New Pioneers Youth Award in 2011 under her belt, Joseph once reflected with The Huffington Post how she wants to use her medical path to pursue a “career where I could continue to foster my scientific and medical interests, while helping improve the health and well-being of Canadian and global society. Being an advocate, promoting public health, engaging in social issues and making contributions globally are all important to me”.

The Kuwait born India native has been a fixture of student activism since arriving in Canada in 2000. She has been involved in many organizations including the Canadian Federation of Medical Students as well as other student governments. She was also a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship few years back.

One of her great mentors – former Bay street lawyer Bruce Alexander – in accepting an honorary degree from his Alma mater, Queens University, remarked how “Canada is fragile and that could disappear if the sense of community we share with other Canadians is not sustained”. He continued – “this requires that we know and care about our fellow citizens, and the values and traditions that we hold in common.”

In Jemy Joseph – I bet he was imagining the best of Canada.

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