A few days ago, I applied to the Prime Minister's Youth Council. Under the leadership of the Liberal Government and Justin Trudeau, the council was created to advise the Prime Minister on "national issues such as employment, access to education, building stronger communities, climate change and clean growth".
Canada's Youth & Values
As a twenty-two year old Canadian with a multicultural background - diverse person - I want to shed light on the various issues facing the country today. Canada is where I was born and raised. It is dear to my heart for many reasons. Canada is most probably home to every culture in the world and it is because one of the values we stand for is acceptance. We accept people for who they are and having been raised to befriend people with opposing values, norms and beliefs has made me a better person - it also makes me Canadian. I remember going to school and among my group of friends, a combination of 13 different languages were spoken. We had different gods, different cultural foods, different ways of dressing but ultimately we were the same. We were Canadian.
Photography by: Mihaela Noroc
Being a Leader
I have been restless since a shy age. I was a Canadian TV actor in Quebec where I got the chance to speak English and French on Tactik (TeleQuebec). I was bewildered to think I had been cast as a Vancouverite in a French TV series being Latina. Throughout my career as an ACTRA/UDA actress living my dreams, I never forgot about my education. The latter was my priority. After boasting titles as a business entrepreneur, actor, singer/songwriter and fashion designer, I went to McGill University where I just recently completed my Bachelor of Commerce in Finance, Marketing and Information Systems. For years, I have sought to inspire those around me, especially young boys and girls who do not always have positive voices telling them that anything and everything is possible. Due to the enormous help I have received from the inspiring Canadians around me and their mentorship, I can proudly say, I believe I have what it takes to lead this country alongside other bright young people.
I present myself as a polymath and a hybrid. Late last year, I did my penultimate semester abroad at the University of Glasgow (Adam Smith Business School) where I extended my education internationally. I have received an award for my leadership and entrepreneurial skills and for inspiring visible minorities in Canada; and have traveled the world to empower Canadian and Colombian fair trade/business through my e-commerce, Posh Avenue. I am perfectly fluent in English, French and Spanish and my communications skills have allowed me to be featured as contributor for Forbes with Oxford University professor, Karl Moore. The article related my background as an actress and argued business leaders can learn a great deal from actors. With honourable mentions from author, Malcolm Gladwell and the famous "Harvey Specter" (the actor, Gabriel Macht), I have been fortunate enough to receive much support from leaders who've inspired me along the way. Despite my success, I have faced many of the socioeconomic problems Canadians face today. I have been subject to Bill 101, bullying, income inequality due to my gender, and am a recent graduate in a Canadian recession. While I have been very fortunate, it is my resilience and hard work that has gotten me where I am. I am truly restless and my "wins" do not reflect the number of my attempts. Canada is one of the best countries in the world - probably due to the wonderful people in it and I want to use my voice to help extend its greatness.
Vision for Change & My Attempts
The economy, business, sustainability and diversity are concerns of mine, which I hope to lead and consult the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on during my campaign - if I were selected to partake in the Youth Council. I will not only start if and when I am selected, though. I have realized that my plan of action began many years ago. At the age of sixteen, I had the opportunity to speak about my passion for education and for the arts on radio stations like CJAD, Radio Centre-Ville, Radio Canada International, CBC and many more. Following suit, in the past two years, I have contributed to over a thousand hours of community service for associations contributing to AIDS, the Montreal Children's Hospital, the Lakeshore General Hospital and children in developing countries.
Finally, this past year, I created a digital platform called "The Corporate Diary" on my YouTube channel where I inspire young women to fight for their dreams by discussing my own personal challenges as a young business woman and interview young women doing great things. In pre and post production, we have an interview with a Digital Marketer at Maybelline - L'Oreal; an investment banker at Goldman Sachs; a business analyst at PwC and an aspiring law school student. These women have inspired me and I know they will pave a path and make a difference for the 5K followers of young people seeking guidance and understanding on the @Katgarciam channel. "The Corporate Diary" is not only a video segment on my YouTube but it is also a blog on my website where I write articles making use of other academics and authors. My style is personalized and honest, which I believe is important when speaking to the youth of Canada. I won't sugarcoat instances when I have been offered unpaid internships from billion dollar companies - instead, I offer academic research, ways to respond and help if solicited.