Tsering is in her second year of the Master’s program in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. As a Tibetan Canadian who was born and raised in Nepal, occupation only had one meaning for Tsering: the occupation of her homeland Tibet in 1959. When Tsering immigrated to Canada in 2004, she was fortunate to have settled in Toronto’s Parkdale community, located in the heart of one of the largest Tibetan diaspora in North America. During her first few years in Toronto, she found herself participating in meaningful activities at her school and local community centres, which played a vital role in helping to develop her Tibetan-Canadian identity. Adapting to the Canadian culture while preserving her Tibetan roots was challenging for Tsering; however, by holding core human values of compassion, tolerance, and self-discipline as promoted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, she was able to embrace challenges and view them as opportunities.
As a student training to become an occupational therapist, Tsering seeks to improve health, well-being, and quality of life through occupation; that is, anything meaningful to a person and occupies their time. Tsering has pursued opportunities in both clinical and community settings. She has worked with hospitalized elders to support them in their activities of daily living and help them to return to their homes and communities. She has also worked with children and youth as a special needs support staff and program director. Further, she continues to work in the Parkdale community to support children and youth recreational programs. Tsering aspires to support the transition of young Tibetan immigrants to Canada by offering activities with cultural and personal relevance and giving the term “occupation” a hopeful meaning for Tibetan-Canadians.
About the Dalai Lama Trust Graduate Scholarship: Each year, the Dalai Lama Trust selects ten to fifteen exceptional candidates of Tibetan descent to receive a scholarship award: “The purpose of the scholarship program is to further the human capital development of the Tibetan people by supporting the pursuit of excellence among Tibetan students in a field of graduate studies of their choice.”