I grew up in Italy and immigrated to Canada when I
was 27 years old leaving a familiar language, my
culture, and all my friends and family behind .
 
When people ask me: “Why did you leave such a
beautiful country?” I smile and say, “To find a good
job.”
 
But the truth is  that I needed to take some
distance from a not so great childhood.
 
I struggled growing up. I was bullied since I was very
young. High school was hell due to problems I had
with learning. I lost my father when I was 14 years old
to a sudden illness, and anxiety made that time of my
life very difficult.
  
I didn’t have much going for myself then. Except that I had a vivid imagination, and a mother who believed in me.
 
At the end of high school I decided to go to university to study child psychology and my mother consulted with the principal at my school. This is what she told her:
 
“Miss Maggi, your daughter is no material for university. You’ll waste your money if you send her.”
 
Since that day over 30 years ago, I earned a BA Honours, a Masters degree, and a PhD from prestigious universities. Today, I am a respected professor at a Canadian university and a productive researcher.
 
How did I get here?
 
My mom didn’t listen to the principal, but believed in me instead. And I never gave up working towards the achievement of my dreams.
 
I have dedicated my career to improving the lives of young people. Having experienced adversity first hand, I have a very strong personal motivation to making sure that children are given what they deserve to grow into happy and healthy adults.