Kourosh Houshmand

Ethics, Society and Law; Political Science; Contemporary Asian Studies, University of Toronto, 2017

Kourosh, 20 years old, is a recipient of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 Award for his work in education entrepreneurship, journalism, and social impact in sub-saharan Africa. He has also been awarded as one of Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders in 2015.

Kourosh is the founder of an international operating non-profit organization called Solar for Life. With over 200 volunteers from across Canada, Kenya and South Africa, Solar for Life has donated over 3,000 solar lights to replace Kerosene in off-grid areas. They are also partners with the UN Sustainable Development Network Youth Team for the launch of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

At 17 years old, Kourosh was elected a Student Trustee for the Toronto District School Board and the Vice- President of Ontario Student Trustees, representing over 2.6 million students across the province and being interviewed by over 120 national and international media outlets including the BBC, Globe & Mail, TVO and National Post. During the 2012 Bill 115 labour disputes in Ontario, Kourosh mobilized over 4,000 students at Queens Park, in what became the largest student protest in Ontario. He then co-founded the Stick it To Fast Food Campaign which gathered over 15,000 pledges from students across Canada to boycott fast food for a month.

Kourosh is also a contributor for the Globe & Mail, VICE News, Toronto Star and Huffington Post; and in 2014 Kourosh founded the Toronto Star Student Hub which is a platform that allows students to write for and connect with journalists from the Toronto Star. 

Continuing his work in education, Kourosh founded Education Rediscovered in 2014 -- a student driven advocacy organization for global education reform. In February 2014, he exclusively interview Noam Chomsky at MIT which garnered over 20,000 views on Youtube. Kourosh serves as the Chief Student Advisor at the MaRS Discovery District and is a board member of the OISE Strategic Directions Group at the University of Toronto. He is currently finishing an Honors B.A double major program in Ethics, Society & Law and Political Science and a minor in Contemporary Asian Studies at Trinity College, University of Toronto.