Stelly’s high school valedictorian Jasmeen Lalari has a score to settle with those who might question this year’s class’ readiness to enter a world defined by crises.
“I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit,” Lalari said. “Our high school experience was a harsh reality most of the time, but we’ve gained so much experience from just being flexible with life and understanding that there’s more to find – happiness and community.
“Our graduating class has done an amazing job over the past two years staying connected and having high morale and school spirit through all the chaos of the past few years.”
The concerns of older generations about the ability of younger generations to cope with reality are an integral part of generational conflict, and younger generations have long used opportunities such as degrees to counter these criticisms while affirming their future agency. But Lalari has lived the words she hears uttered very well.
The list detailing Lalari’s services to her school and community is long and impressive. She was a driving force in her school’s food drives and helped renovate a women’s shelter in the Greater Victoria area. These experiences serving marginalized groups also shaped her future career choice as Lalari plans to study Canadian law at the University of Birmingham in the UK.
The three-year program combines undergraduate and graduate coursework and will help accelerate Lalari’s journey into the legal profession. Although she hasn’t chosen a specific area of law yet, she can see herself working as a legal advisor or working in child protection or with groups like the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre.
Lalari said her passion for law grew through her school service, particularly her work to help renovate the women’s shelter.
“I wanted to see if I could do something in my career where I could help that part of my community,” she said. A second-generation Punjabi Canadian, Lalari also credits her grandparents for raising her to always give back to the community, a perspective she carried from childhood through youth and early adulthood. .
“I think the greatest thing in life is working with different people with different perspectives, and I think that’s what drives me the most,” she said.
Other factors, some community, some personal, also influenced his decision to study Canadian law in the UK. On the one hand, the University of Birmingham offers a major in Canadian law and the location itself offers Lalari the opportunity to study Canadian law at its historical roots.
This choice also allows her to continue to pursue her Bhangra dance, an essential part of herself for about 16 years, which also serves as a connection to her Punjabi-Canadian roots and community.
A dual citizen, Lalari also has extended family in the Birmingham area through her mother.
“It’s kind of like home, but it’s also something out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I’m very excited to go and experience something different, to live in a different place and to continue to discover my passions.”
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Graduation 2022Saanich Peninsula