Pierre Dushime is making it his mission to improve how the Canadian legal system assimilates immigrants.

Pierre Dushime (Learning Matters Education Charity Bursary Award Winner) was born in Kigal, Rwanda, and is currently pursuing his 4-year BCL/JD studies at McGill University in Montreal. Drawing from his own experience of having grown up in exile, first in Uganda to escape Rwanda, then in Canada to escape Rwanda, Pierre has made it his goal to tackle issues facing refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants in Canada.

In Pierre’s view, the Canadian justice system needs to improve how it incorporates immigrants into the country. He sees this as necessary, given the profound, positive impact that many of these new citizens have on Canada’s economic and social development.

Pierre is indisputably leading by example; this former refugee is positively affecting change through a myriad of advocacy initiatives. Pierre has been involved with the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) since 2016, and  he served as a Youth Project leader and Financial Coordinator of the CCR Youth Network before stepping into the role as the current co-Chairperson of the CCR Youth Network. Given his deep engagement with the cause, Pierre was nominated by the CCR and selected by the government to serve as one of the 18 youth advisors to the Minister and Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 

Academic studies only seemed to fuel Pierre’s passion for his cause. While pursuing his BA Honours in Political Science at Concordia University, Pierre held positions of VP Academics of the Political Science Student Association, Chief of External Affairs of the Concordia Model United Nations and Sports Captain of the Concordia team to the Political Science Games 2019. In 2019, he was awarded the Political Science department’s Jean Picard Scholarship in recognition of his academic performance and extraordinary extracurricular profile. The following year, Pierre was awarded the Concordia O’Brien Medal. Over the time that Pierre pursued his undergraduate studies, he received over 12 academic scholarships and bursaries and was named one of the 7 Concordia’s Great Graduates Class of 2020. 

Acknowledgement of Pierre’s outstanding achievements show no signs of abating. The CST Learning Matters Education Charity Bursary is the most recent of these, and Pierre intends to use this bursary to help defray the costs of his graduate studies in law. Pierre will be using his legal education to further his cause: providing immigrants with access to the Canadian justice system so that they too can thrive and make a positive mark of their own.