Alif Munim Recipient Profile

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

“Growing up in the Jane Finch area was a great blessing."


It allowed me to see firsthand the extraordinary resilience of human beings even under tremendous external pressure from gangs, gun violence, unemployment, underserved schools, and poor housing conditions.


Most impressive of all was their ability to come together to overcome these collective obstacles. These shared objectives of creating a better community brought people of all walks of life together under the common goal of not letting terms like "low-income" or "underprivileged" ultimately be what defines them.


"I have a passion for artificial intelligence –it is the one technology with the power to improve lives”


Software developer: I am working full-time as a software engineering intern at IBM, contributing to cutting-edge software products.


AI researcher: I have been invited to work on AI research at U of T, specifically AI applications to business automation.


Education forward: Hoping to pursue a masters program in computer science after completing my computer science undergrad at Ryerson University.


“Being surrounded by positive influences was my single greatest opportunity. ”


My immigrant parents resolve, in the face of challenges, to make a better life for me and my sisters is something I strive to uphold.


My mother's love of music inspired me to sign up for the Hammer Band, where I met the Canadian violinist Moshe Hammer and learned how to play the violin, a pastime that still brings me great joy to this day.


My principal Karl Subban instilled in me a strong drive to succeed, which led me to join school clubs where I learned about robotics, computers, and math, topics that were foundational to my pursuits.


My digital teacher Dwayne Holness inspired in me all things digital.


My Merit mentor Kanwal Arora, helped me redefine my idea of what success looks like in the context of a healthy and balanced life.


“Merit has created positive ripples in my life. “


Receiving financial support at a time when my mother was ill lifted a very heavy burden from my shoulders.


Meeting my Merit mentor Kanwal Arora gave me a new view of my future.


And now I am volunteering with Merit helping create skills workshops and an online platform, MeritConnects to share ideas and resources.