Even before he became the University of Guelph-Humber Student Senator for the Business program, Dilshan Jayasinghe has never been shy about getting involved at school.
As a high-schooler from John Cabot Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, Jayasinghe spent two years in the Student Council, spending the second of which as a Student Voice Representative who collaborated with representatives from 26 schools all over the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board.
Since coming to UofGH, Jayasinghe has been no less active. He’s a Student Transition and Resource Team (START) Leader and a First Year Experience (FYE) Leader for the Business program, where he created a FYE Study Social to help students prepare for midterms. He’s also served as the VP of Communications for the Guelph-Humber Accounting Council and next school year will be VP of Activities, and he participated with DECA UGH as a delegate in the Accounting category, where he has won first place at two Invitationals.
Needless to say, while he’s only studied at UofGH for two years, Jayasinghe has already made a mark on campus life.
“In high-school I became so involved starting with one club in Grade 9, and then more and more, and it was just like that at Guelph-Humber,” Jayasinghe said. “It’s similar too because it’s a small school where everyone gets to know who you are and you get to see your classmates often.
“In a close-knit community, everyone’s there to support you.”
Jayasinghe began working early toward a goal that continues to this day: raising awareness of autism.
In high school, he managed to introduce an event supporting students with disabilities and autism, even working to get five schools involved across the board in his Grade 12 year.
After enrolling at UofGH, Jayasinghe’s advocacy continued in his very first year here, when he organized an event dedicated to World Autism Awareness Day. In his second year, with help from Student Life, IGNITE, Guelph-Humber Advertising and Marketing Association (GHAMA) and Guelph-Humber Consulting Association, he organized and established the Guelph-Humber Autism Down Syndrome (GHADS) Day in March.
It’s a cause that Jayasinghe can personally relate to.
“I’ve been supporting autism awareness because I am student diagnosed with autism,” he explained. “I have been volunteering for an organization called Autism Ontario for several years, so I created an event dedicated to this.
“With the success from the first year’s event, I got to incorporate another cause and got more support from the university where I was able to work with more students and staff this year for Guelph-Humber Autism Down Syndrome Day. It’s a wonderful event that brings students together.”
Before he started his first year at Guelph-Humber, Jayasinghe participated in the Easy Start Transition Program, which is hosted by Humber’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. After his first year, he was selected to become a Student Ambassador to help future students with special needs make a great transition to the University of Guelph-Humber or Humber College. He is returning as Student Ambassador for Easy Start next year.
A Future in Numbers
Jayasinghe is specializing in accounting and after graduating, he wants to pursue his CPA designation like his older brother. He would be happy to work for one of the big accounting companies or a non-profit, but because he’s a passionate movie enthusiast, he would also love to work in accounting for Cineplex, the Toronto International Film Festival, or his dream company: Disney.
Until then, Jayasinghe will continue trying to make a positive contribution to life at UofGH.
“Through getting involved on campus, you get to know a huge number of students in a short period of time,” he said.
“In my first year, I got to meet so many students from different programs. During that short period of time, we became really close friends. It’s amazing that the size of the university can play a huge role in that.”
Learn more about Student Government at the University of Guelph-Humber.
Learn more about Business at the University of Guelph-Humber.