WHO ARE YOU?

NAME: Leslie Zurek-Silvestri

BIRTHPLACE: Toronto

NICKNAME: Blondie, Les

CURRENT RESIDENCE: Mississauga

CAREER: Healthcare Consultant and Nurse

GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS: My greatest achievement would be raising our three daughters, Brittany, Kristen and Jacqueline and watching them fulfill all their dreams and goals together with my husband Carlo.

FAMILY PETS: Roxie, our Shitzhu.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

I’ve lived by these words from Hazel McCallion since I was a little girl. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

WHAT BRINGS YOU THE GREATEST JOY OR SATISFACTION?

Seeing the positive results of helping others in the community, whether through charitable work or advocating for children and families.

IF YOU COULD POSSESS ONE SUPER-HUMAN POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Clearly it would be to be able to teleport myself from place to place… or fly.

WHAT DOES THE WORD COMMUNITY MEAN TO YOU?

Bringing together all people in unity to learn from each other and to experience the diversity and culture around us.

Hazel McCallion’s 96th Birthday

FUN FACTS

• I have lived in Mississauga for over 40 years – watching it grow from farmer fields to the beautiful city it has become.

• I am first generation Canadian born to Polish immigrants. Retaining my family’s Polish and Italian heritage is very important to me for our future generations. Participating in the Polish Days Festival and Italfest as a committee member, strengthens our cultural roots.

• My greatest joy is representing and advocating for the DPCDSB special education advisory committee for many years, supporting students and families with differing abilities in Peel region.

• I have been honoured to receive many accolades for my work in the community including the Mississauga Civic Award of Recognition for community service.

• My greatest reward is when a client has achieved a positive outcome through my support and knowledge through my work.

• Our charitable coat drive has clothed over 2,000 local citizens for those in need in our community through Fight the Cold coat drive and Warm Coats and Warm Hearts coat drive.

• Peace and serenity around nature and water, whether it is just watching the Credit River flow, the lake at the cottage or walking the beach in Florida is very dear to me. I just love to travel around the world and experience different cultures, foods and architecture.

• True friends are hard to come across and I value those friendships that are priceless.

• I love art, fashion, shoes and handbags!

Linda Leatherdale & Shenglin Xian with Leslie & Randy Pasuad at the Onward and Upward Financial Literacy event

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?

My grandmother, Aniela. She became a widow very early on in life, with an infant, and just worked hard to build a life for her family just after the second World War. She taught me that you can do anything you put your mind to and be successful. Hard work always pays off.

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?

The joy in children’s eyes when they are playing and happy.

Convention in Niagara Falls

WHAT IS ONE THING THAT VERY FEW PEOPLE WOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU?

My back is rebuilt of steel screws and plates.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME?

Gone with the Wind.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE VACATION SPOT?

The beach!

IF THE WHOLE COMMUNITY WERE LISTENING, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

• Be respectful and show compassion to those around you.

• Give when you can, unconditionally.