Who is Rukshan Para

Rukshan Para is a resident of Cornell, Markham for over 20 years and he continues to call it home with his wife and son. Rukshan is a financial consultant and has successfully led the implementation of multi-million dollar projects for the banking industry. He will bring a strategic leadership approach to operational efficiency, process improvement, and data governance, to enhance the York Region District School Board’s vision and to ensure a better education system for our children.

Rukshan strongly believes that giving back strengthens our communities and sharing experiences with others provides a new perspective. He works with several nonprofit organizations in order to provide the community with valuable opportunities and services.

Rukshan's passion for community development has led him to found a number of non-profit organizations and one of those is the Youth and Parents Association of Markham (YPAM. YPAM has grown from reading to children in his basement to offering a number of programs, one of which was the very 1st grade specific online Spelling Bee in North America. His community development initiatives have been recognized by the Ontario government with the presentation of The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism. This award recognized Rukshan for outstanding contributions as a volunteer in the community and for being a change maker. He was also a recipient of the Ontario Volunteer Service Award and the Men of Honour Award, both in 2019.

Rukshan is an avid life-long advocate for learning and believes in creating a better educational system that not only reflects the needs of the individual and society today, but what we may need in the future. He is an active community leader who is passionate about issues affecting parents and youth. He is diligently working with children and their parents at their schools, while advocating for initiatives that improve education in Markham.

Rukshan has led many campaigns and projects relating to youth empowerment within our communities, including literacy, numeracy, and mental well-being. He is currently working towards increasing the literacy rate of elementary children. At the same time, he tirelessly works with teenagers to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and all of the challenges our children face today with regards to mental health issues. The world is changing every day and the gaps between parents and their children often seem so great. He is trying to create a conversation between parents and their children, making it easier for them to communicate.

Rukshan Para is not shy to speak his mind when he sees something wrong. He stood up for taxpayers when trustees voted in favor of awarding the Director of Education with a previously unheard of, 10-year contract. He was the first parent to raise the flag with the Ministry with an email that was later featured on City TV news: Click Here (@1:34 and 2:30).

He further raised concerns when a trustee “alleged to have pressured staff to boost his daughter’s mark” (Toronto Star link: Click Here ).

Rukshan Para's other community development initiatives include being the co-founder of Men’s Services for Mental Health where he is creating conversation with youth and men on de-stigmatizing mental health, and is a co-founder and advisor of Unions Sports Federation of Canada. He sits on other boards such as Markham Stouffville Hospital President Advisory Council, Markham Sport Hall of Fame, Markham-Unionville Rotary club to name a few.

He has demonstrated that he can engage parents, motivate youth, promote education, and encourage our children to reach for the stars. His passion, proven track record, and experience, make him a befitting candidate for the position of York Region District Public School Board Trustee.