Poet, public speaker and MAC member Wali Shah was featured in the Mississauga News this month. The article goes in-depth with Shah on his unexpected journey to success.
At 15-years-old Wali Shah’s future was muddled with uncertainty, until poetry came along. Fast forward to eight years later, Shah is now Mississauga’s poet laureate, a proud graduate of the University of Toronto, and a strong advocate for anti-bullying, mental health and toxic masculinity with plans to do so much more.
Wali Shah moved to Toronto when he was just three-years-old and like many immigrant youths, Shah had a tough time adjusting to his new life and managing his family’s expectations growing up.
A lot of youth, particularly minorities struggling with cultural differences, Shah says, don’t have the right mentorship and parents might have a strong disconnect from their children, leaving them vulnerable to the wrong crowd.
“When I was in high school I got arrested for assault,” Shah said. “That was the really big turning point for me — having those cuffs around my wrist and being in the back of a police cruiser, going to the cell — I realized I need to make better choices and make better friends.”