Gaurav Sharma (2013)

Affiliation at the time of the award: McGill University

Citation: Gaurav’s experiences growing up in an immigrant Indo-Canadian family helped shape his understanding of leadership, which he recognizes as both an individually and socially mediated process. He advocates inclusive approaches to education, such as recognizing knowledge that is traditionally underrepresented and making academia more accessible to the public.

Gaurav constantly challenges his own ideas about leadership through critical reflection. He has been on international volunteer trips to Peru and Benin, supporting a medical clinic and working at an orphanage. Thinking critically about his time abroad moved Gaurav to begin work on a documentary film evaluating the ethical consequences of the growth of the students volunteering abroad industry. Social justice is the core motivator for Gaurav’s leadership experiences. In Montreal, he leads Youth Opportunities! Through Community, an organization he founded in Ontario to counter the unfair distribution of sports programs for youth through free learn to skate and leadership programming. In an internship with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Gaurav wrote articles and developed resources related to the intersections of mental health, racism, and the justice system. He is currently a floor fellow at McGill University, providing peer counselling and building community for first year students in residence.