BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
Born of Indian and Guyanese parentage, Sarah Singh has spent most of her life residing in Brampton. She is an emerging social entrepreneur and artist. Her roots run deep in cultural history from both sides of the world. Growing up she was taught to embrace the traditions and values celebrated from each side of her family learning the importance of respect and hard work instilled by her parents and her grandparents during her formative years.
Sara completed her Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Political Science at York University and also holds a Master of Arts in International Development Studies from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Her impressive educational background doesn’t stop there however as she is currently in her 3rd year working towards a Doctoral degree in Public Policy at Ryerson University.
Sara’s outgoing and creative personality has allowed her many avenues in which to implement her many talents. In 2012 she founded her own non-profit organization Broadening Horizons, a youth empowerment agency that uses arts-based education to educate and empower youth to address social issues. Being a passionate and driven advocate for social change she has worked closely with various community organizations such as WaterCan, the Canadian Global Campaign for Education, TakingITGlobal and the Camal International Home for Abused Women and Children in Guyana.
As a woman of colour, with a mixed-ethnic background, Sara has faced adversity in a number of different situations. She has been subjected to bullying, sexist remarks and even comments relating to her culture and appearance. Through these experiences, she was inspired to tackle them in a creative and unconventional way. Her artistic talents meshed with her academic pursuits and knowledge inspired her to create pieces of art that depict negative connotations to raise awareness for the issues faced by the community. Sara’s art is unique, raising awareness to issues such as violence, negativity and anti bullying. She has then taken her art to the community and allowed them to add their own positive changes as a symbol of inspiring and creating change.
She is very passionate about the work that she does within the community, always looking for issues to address and positive changes that can be implemented. Alongside the work that she does with her own organization, Sara is also a board director at Brampton Caledon Community Living, a non-profit organization that assists people with intellectual disabilities helping them to be included in the community as well as Community Living Ontario the provincial confederation of community living associations.
Sara has faced personal challenges, discovering what inspires her, as well as maintaining a work and life balance. Looking toward the future Sara hopes to continue her work to inspire community change and development through policy reforms, as well as bringing the community together through the arts. “We all come from diverse communities and cultural backgrounds yet even here in Canada we do not effectively connect to all communities. We operate in silos, with each of the groups operating independently and not thinking our struggles are the same. I hope to bring our communities together, to celebrate our differences but also understand how connected we are.”
Her commitment to tackling social issues and passion for change is what drives her to continuously think outside the box and come up with innovative ways of educating others and impacting change. Her family has been a major influence in her life as they have helped her to realize the power of her voice, the importance of our history and cultures in defining who we are. They have encouraged her every step of the way and shown her the importance of seva or community service.
Through all of her hard work and dedication, Sara’s focus never waivers. Through constantly educating herself and others, she hopes to continue the growth of her organization and inflict positive changes, sharing the experience of the change-making process. Her advice for those looking for their own purpose in life is to, “Take risks and persevere no matter what anyone tells you. Follow your dreams and always keep your head up, never let your crown fall!”