Welcome Peter Thurley to the Board of Directors!

02-7-12

Canada Without Poverty is pleased to welcome Peter Thurley to the Board of Directors.  Peter will represent the Ontario seat and brings with him a personal experience of child poverty as well as the passion of an activist dedicated to improving the lives of others.  He is also a Canada Millennium Scholarship Recipient  over 2002-2004 and in 2010 was selected as one of Waterloo Region’s Top 40 under 40. In Peter’s own words:

“Growing up in a large family in suburban B.C. was difficult.  My father was a factory worker, while my mother stayed at home to raise the kids. Money was always tight, as the manufacturing climate was weak.  I remember coming home from school and asking what was for dinner, only to be told that it was potatoes, meatloaf and powdered milk, yet again.  Clothes were usually from second hand stores, and there were many times when I could hear my parents in the other room, trying to figure out which bills were going to be paid and which ones they would have to leave for next time.

“The bright light was that my parents placed a premium on education, and were serious about ensuring that their 6 children did the best they could in school.  As I grew older, I recognized that getting a good education was my ticket out of poverty. Now at 30 years old, I hold a Master’s degree and have committed my own professional life to helping end the cycle of poverty in Canada.

“Growing up in a family where poverty was hidden, where we were the working poor, has challenged me to consider how many of our social structures continue to accept poverty as a ‘fact of life’, as something that will never go away.  In some circumstances, social structures are set up to perpetuate poverty for the benefit of those who are not poor.  Challenging these social structures has formed the basis of my political and social activism. From serving on the Board of Directors of Supportive Housing of Waterloo to helping out at the local Out of the Cold homeless shelter, to my new role as Development Coordinator for the student nutrition programs administered by The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington, I have made fighting poverty a personal, professional and political priority.  I am pleased now to work with the Canada Without Poverty team in pursuit of our mission of a poverty-free Canada.”