Samra was trapped as a child bride in an abusive marriage for over a decade, with no hope of ever finding freedom and opportunities to live with respect. Samra is an advocate for survivors of domestic violence, and her own journey of survival was featured in Toronto Life magazine in February 2017.
Samra Zafar is a Commercial Account Manager in the Toronto Business and Professional Services department at RBC Royal Bank. She was previously an Associate with the ABL group at RBC Capital Markets.
Samra is a multiple award winning graduate of the University of Toronto, a Public Speaker, an upcoming Author, and the Founder of Brave Beginnings, an organization dedicated to helping women find personalized mentorship, friendship and support to rebuild their lives after oppression and abuse. After overcoming severe challenges and adversity, Samra went on to graduate with a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto and receive over a dozen awards and scholarships. She was the first mature student and woman of colour to win the John Moss Award, a $16,650 scholarship awarded annually to only one student from all three U of T campuses. She was awarded the Mother of the Year Award and was the recipient of the Spotlight Award by the Canada Pakistan Professionals Association and the Woman of Courage Award for being a community icon.
Samra has appeared in several articles and TV interviews where she promotes education and empowerment, especially amongst women. She speaks at various events in GTA and was a recent speaker for the Couchiching Institute of Public Affairs and the International Women’s Day Conference by Amnesty International. She was also recently featured as the cover story in Generation Next magazine. Samra is currently in her first term as an alumni member of the Governing Council and a member of the UTM Campus Council.