Aaron Pinto to Represent Canada on International Trade Mission
Vijay Ryan Pereira
Canada, Jul 11: Aaron Joshua Pinto, a student of Canada's Western University was chosen by Global Vision, on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, as one of a hundred young Canadians from across the country to represent the region of Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area at the National Youth Ambassador Caucus on Parliament Hill in Ottawa at the beginning of June.
During July, he will be representing Canada along with thirty youth as a Junior Team Canada ambassador on an international trade mission to the Americas, specifically, Panama and Colombia. While in South America, he will have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with a diverse group of community, business, and government leaders (including Juan Santos, the President of Colombia).
Aaron was selected to participate in Western's competitive International Exchange programme as a part of Junior Team Canada, to represent their regions and meet with political, business, and development leaders. Aaron is thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Ontario on an international stage.
The trade mission, which follows Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent attendance at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena de Indias, is organized by Global Vision, a national non-profit organization that was founded in 1991 by former London-Middlesex MP Terry Clifford. Global Vision has led missions to over 20 countries, with the most recent being to Indonesia in August 2011. The programme engages enterprising young Canadians, ages 16-25, through education and hands on experience to develop as generational leaders that can and do make a difference in their communities, to Canada, and the world.
Joshua, son of Vincy and Dinna Pinto and brother of Vernon Pinto is of Mangalorean origin and became acquainted and aware of the social inequalities, hunger and poverty at a very early age. This realization gave him new focus and purpose and has been the impetus to make a change in his environment and community. He recently completed his third year in International Relations (Honours Specialization) and French Language and Translation (Minor) at Western University. For the upcoming academic year, he has been selected to participate in Western's competitive International Exchange programme in both France and the Netherlands.
Even as a child, Joshua has been actively involved in his community hosting several campaigns and leading local environmental and social projects. He has had the opportunity to work with kids with physical and learning disabilities, assisting youth and women in impoverished communities, and has had the privilege of lobbying post-secondary policies in the provincial and federal governments through our University Students’ Council. He was also engaged in humanitarian missions in India and South Africa.
For his work, he was honoured with the Outstanding Citizen Award from the City of Mississauga. He was also awarded the Youth Civic Leadership Award by the Rotary Club of Toronto this year. In the past, he has been twice awarded the USC Alumni Award for having displayed exemplary extra-curricular involvement in his university and in the community. This summer, Aaron is interning at TakingITGlobal, an online social hub engaging and connecting youth leaders world-wide, and, additionally, he is assisting Dr Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, Interim Associate Director at Western’s Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, translating some of her scholarly articles from English to French. With deep conviction Aaron says "In the future, it is my hope to represent Canada as an ambassador so I can promote social cohesion and, as a human rights advocate, provide a powerful voice for those who are silent".
The Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) sponsored Aaron in recognition of his work, tremendous social conscience and also to provide encouragement and assistance to the son of MAC members. Every delegate selected for this mission is tasked with the goal of raising $5,500 in sponsorship from various business, government, and community organizations.