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Dean’s Award winner plans to turn passion into life’s work

Adlai Salcedo plans to build his future around his zeal for education, international development and human rights. “What drives everything I do is my passion for helping people who don’t have the same opportunities that I do I never want to let go of that.”

Photo of: Adlai Salcedo sitting on a bench wearing a tie and vestThe recent graduate in international relations and economics, believes his education will be key to achieving his goals: “I want to use all the skills I have learned from my experiences and fit them into my personal and professional life.”

Salcedo had already devoted much of his time as an undergraduate to international development and equality, garnering a Dean’s Student Leadership Award in the process.

Supported international students

Salcedo, who is himself an immigrant to Canada, joined the University College International Students Committee in order to support international students and provide a platform for them to express their concerns. “You do not choose where you are born and that should not be a factor of why you can’t better yourself.”

He was also a member of the International Relations Society, where he provided academic assistance and time-management tips to first-year students.

But one of his favourite pursuits was Model United Nations (MUN), an opportunity to address some of the world’s most serious issues alongside peers who shared his commitment.

“I will miss seeing so much enthusiasm in people to make a difference in the world. At Model UN, I was surrounded by future world leaders and that was exciting.” He kept the excitement alive during his undergrad by volunteering in the Connect Youth Committee at the United Nations Association in Canada and as Chief of Staff at the Canadian International Model United Nations (CANIMUN).

“Do what you love”

To further pursue his interest in advancing equality, Salcedo is currently helping develop fundraising strategies for Beautiful World Canada Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting higher education especially for women in developing countries

“Equal opportunity for women in business has proven to have such a positive economic impact. You can see that it reduces poverty and increases standards of living,” said Salcedo.

Adlai’s message for other students is to “do what you love.”

“Don’t get discouraged by what people say. You may want to pursue art history or politics and people will tell you there are no jobs in those fields. However, that doesn’t mean there are no jobs it means you just need to work hard and find those opportunities.”

The Dean’s Student Leadership Award recognizes an Arts & Science student who has played a significant leadership role in their extracurricular activities and in so doing has had a demonstrable impact on improving the quality of student experience at the University of Toronto.