Leslie Zurek-Silvestri was born to Polish immigrant parents who came to Canada in the 1960’s with nothing but a suitcase and a few dollars in their pockets. Her family was involved in building the Polish community in Mississauga and are still active members of the Polish Church in Mississauga. She attended Polish school, Polish scouts and folk dance lessons in the Mississauga South area as a child and youth. Being the child of immigrants in Mississauga Leslie learned firsthand what it took to be a part of the multicultural mosaic in our city and the importance of working together with everyone.
Leslie’s desire to help those struggling with poverty grew while working the local grocery store; Food City in Cooksville. For many years she interacted with families that had a hard time on social assistance. She had an admiration for Mr. Wolfe, owner of Oshawa Foods for his support of those with differing abilities and his initiative to hire people with disabilities in the grocery store.
Her need to serve the public continued when she entered nursing school and graduated and began her career as a nurse. She first worked in maternal care and then on a medical/surgical floor serving those vulnerable. Leslie was one of the key advocates in 2004 working on the campaign to dispel the stigma associated with Mental Health. This would later open the doors for the medical community and education to embrace the need for our future generations.
Leslie is a well sought after healthcare professional, offering support and advocacy to individuals in Ontario including educational institutions while respecting privacy and integrity. Attention to detail and reflective practice are a key part of her delivery of service and knowledge. A leader in sourcing solutions to healthcare issues Leslie believes in accessibility for all. Leslie takes pride in participating in the social and educational landscape of Mississauga through her community engagement and work.
Leslie has an extensive trusted record in the non-profit sector and in community leadership and education. She has contributed as chair and director positions for organizations: The United Way, Learning Disabilities Association of Peel Region, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Hats on for Awareness, Breakfast with Santa Foundation and Fashion Circuit Series. Leslie holds the position of director at Special Education Advisory committee of Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board and consults with the Ministry of Education providing feedback to support best practices.
She has appeared on national and local television programs including Marilyn Denis Show. Leslie is the founder of Onward and Upward a speaker conference bringing people together to educate and share their knowledge in an inclusive platform on current trends like financial literacy. Her “Fight the Cold” coat drive continues to be one of the largest drives for local children and families that experience hardship in Peel. She is supports the work of the Rotary club, Mississauga Board of Trade, Twas the Bite, and Mississauga Arts Council.
Leslie Zurek-Silvestri has been a part of the vibrant fabric of the community of Mississauga for over 40 years. A Humanitarian, her accolades include many awards of distinction including: Civic Recognition award from the City of Mississauga 2017, Canada-Poland Chamber of Commerce award 2016, Brilliant Minded Women Award 2015 and many more over the years.
The time has arrived for Leslie to enter council and advocate for the citizens of ward 7 with Hazel McCallion’s encouragement. Leslie takes pride in citizen engagement and never misses an opportunity to support community.
On October 22, 2018 Vote for Leslie Zurek-Silvestri for ward 7.