Since he was young, Asif Hossain wanted to help make a difference in his community.
His resolve to achieve his goal was only strengthened after visiting Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside as part of a course in the Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies (BLES) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).
“Some of the most vulnerable people in Canada live there, including people with mental illness and substance abuse disorder. When I saw them for the first time, I was unprepared for the emotional feeling of seeing how vulnerable some people are. I had never seen anything like it. I wept.”
In 2013, Asif decided to study in Canada at JIBC to find ways to help people in his native Bangladesh who struggle with the challenges of living in a young democracy affected by genocide and a lack of fair and impartial treatment by the police.
“I chose JIBC because it is Canada’s top public safety educator. Knowledge gained from JIBC can be tested and applied in the real world. The students become employable through the process. Students take transferable skills and experiences with them after they graduate,” Asif said.
“My hopes are to use the knowledge and skills where I can ‘be the one’ to make a difference. To contribute to restoring the dignity of Muslims and the Bangladeshi people and help make lives easier, and shape a strong, peaceful future for them.”
He first completed JIBC’s two-year Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) then continued for another two years to finish with the BLES degree.
My passion for public safety and the criminal justice system increased exponentially after enrolling at JIBC for law enforcement studies. The best part was being taught by professionals who had decades of experiences and were experts in their fields.
After graduating, he supported JIBC’s programs internationally, representing the Institute in India and Bangladesh. His research interests in criminology and police training led him to pursue graduate studies in criminology at the University of Cambridge. His studies for his Master of Philosophy were fully funded through scholarships and bursaries from Cambridge University, its criminology department and the university’s Robinson College.
Asif credits his JIBC education and its emphasis on research skills for preparing him for graduate studies.
“We had an active and thought-provoking approach towards real world topics at JIBC. The constant application of theories to the real-world problems helped us understand issues and develop knowledge.”
Upon graduating from Cambridge in July, Asif was hired by JIBC to join its faculty as a sessional instructor. He continues to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer in Greater Vancouver but now with an added goal of eventually furthering his academic career by pursuing a doctorate in criminology.
His ultimate plan is to realize his dream of creating meaningful change in Canada and Bangladesh, focused on making a difference in the community and seeking opportunities to pay it forward.
Update: Congratulations to Asif for being one of the winners of ApplyBoard’s inaugural International Alumni of Impact Award in 2023, highlighting the remarkable achievements of former international students in Canada! In addition to teaching at JIBC and other local colleges, Asif continues to give back to the community both in Canada, by serving as a volunteer special constable with the Vancouver Police Department, and his home country of Bangladesh, where he raises funds for an orphanage and has worked to promote education for girls. Learn more here.