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Alumni Profiles

Sirena Liladrie

Sirena Liladrie

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Year of Graduation: 2002
Program: Community Services Worker - Outreach and Development

Coming Full Circle

Sirena’s career has taken her full circle, back to Sheridan College where her educational journey began as a student in the Community Worker - Outreach and Development Program. Since graduating in 2002, she has developed a deep understanding of the community support sector, and has provided leadership and mentorship to students as a Professor in the Social Service Worker Program at Brampton’s Davis Campus for the past three years.

Born and raised in Mississauga, Sirena returned to her hometown in 2010 to raise her own family, after living in downtown Toronto for several years. “I naturally fell into the community services field because of my personality, passion for helping and experiences with volunteerism,” says Sirena, who graduated at the top of her class at Sheridan, receiving the Silver Medal Award and the Judith Atkinson Award for Excellence in Community Development. Fittingly, she will offer words of inspiration and advice to the 2012 graduating class this week.

Following graduation, Sirena worked with various community organizations, including Halton Multicultural Council, World Vision Canada and The Salvation Army. The anti-discrimination workshops for students she facilitated for elementary students continue to be used within the Halton District School Board.

Sirena went on to receive her Master’s in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University in 2008. She was the recipient of the 2007-2008 Ontario Graduate Fellowship and the 2008 Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement Graduate Research Award. In 2007, Sirena graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Human Geography.

In 2010, Sirena published a highly lauded article in the academic journal Race and Class looking at the health and well-being of immigrant women of colour working in precarious employment in the GTA. The article is currently a required reading in courses at the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University and the University of Toronto.

Based on her findings, Sirena believes that the time has come to shine a light on the risky working conditions of immigrant and migrant workers in Canada, which have negative health and social consequences. “The experience of migrating and working as a racialized immigrant in Canada can be very challenging. The precarious working conditions of this group perpetuate poverty, inequality and the development of an underclass society within Canada and abroad,” says Sirena. Read her article here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0306396809354177

Sirena continues to strengthen her ties with the community on various levels, and advises new alumni to keep strong social networks. “Stay connected with the people who inspired you while you were here at Sheridan; you never know when you may need to call on them in the future.”