“Being the change you want to see can seem daunting—remember that your ideas or actions do not need to be grandiose or groundbreaking to have an impact. Small-scale or local initiatives have just as much potential to improve the lives of others.”
2022 Top 30 Under 30
Which SDGs are you most passionate about and why?
I am most passionate about SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 4: Quality Education because I believe that they represent the most fundamental aspects of sustainability and growth. The absence of quality education and good health creates substantial barriers for individuals and communities to develop and strengthen other institutional elements and work towards the SDGs. If a community is continuously forced to spend most or all of its resources on maintaining an acceptable level of health and education, it has very little left to invest in other important institutional elements, such as economic growth, environmental sustainability, and gender equality.
Additionally, it is no secret that populations with stronger healthcare systems and access to quality education strive for and achieve further innovation. The opportunity for institutional innovation provides communities, especially low-income communities, greater opportunities to develop efficient and intuitive solutions to many of the issues they face in the present and future.
What Issues are you most passionate about and what inspires you to take action?
Growing up, it wasn’t unusual for my family and me to visit a doctor’s office several times a week. As immigrants, my family has experienced a great deal of discrimination in the healthcare system—from being ignored when asking for help in understanding medical jargon, to having our symptoms dismissed for menial illnesses just to be diagnosed with something serious weeks or months later. These experiences ignited my passion for equitable access to healthcare, particular support for immigrants in the healthcare system, and collaborative healthcare policy designed through open dialogue and partnerships with communities experiencing health-based discrimination. In everything I do, I strive to make healthcare more innovative, effective, and inclusive, so other families do not have the same experiences my family had.
How have you communities and those around you helped you to take action and make a difference?
My community has been integral in supporting and motivating my community-based action and initiatives. I want to include a special thank you to my network of family and friends, whose moral support and kindness encourage me to keep working hard and remind me how fortunate I am to be in a position to give back to others. To my team at Youth Leaders in Law: thank you for showing me that friendship and creativity are essential to strong impacts. To my peers at the RCMP: thank you for demonstrating that distance (and timezones) cannot obstruct phenomenal teamwork.
My immediate circle is not the only group that provides the inspiration behind my actions. When I see the people in my communities struggling with the issues I seek to resolve—whether it be access to healthcare, inadequate opportunities for quality education, or others—it reminds me of the goals that I am working towards and to be persistent in my change-making every day.
What do partnership and collaboration mean to you in your life and your work?
Partnership and collaboration mean having an open exchange of feedback, creative ideas, and most importantly, constructive criticism to allow each part involved in change-making work to learn, grow, and improve in a meaningful way. On a personal level, I apply this principle to every project, task, and initiative I am part of by consulting as many diverse opinions as possible—including those that I may not have considered or accepted right away—to ensure that multiple angles are considered to yield optimal, holistic results.
Jolie delivering a virtual presentation on engaging youth in the healthcare system and decision-making process to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jolie at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during her term as a policy fellow.
Jolie speaking to an audience of students and lawyers at Youth Leaders in Law’s inaugural conference in 2019.