Turning Point with Priya Sam

Turning Point with Priya Sam

In each episode of Turning Point, former national news anchor and morning show host Priya Sam interviews a guest about a turning point in their life. The turning points are as diverse as the guests; some stem from big decisions or taking a leap of faith, while others are rooted in tragedy or unexpected obstacles. All are inspiring.

Episodes

May 11, 2022 44 min

“Sometimes that’s all a person needs is to just know that somebody sees them…That little spark of hope can ignite a blaze.”

This quote from Calan Breckon's episode is still on my mind. Calan is a life coach and his biggest turning point came from a low point when he didn't know how he was going to pay his rent. After hitting rock bottom, he got a job offer that changed everything: he moved to Dubai to be a flight attendant.

...

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Dionne Sinclair is VP Clinical Operations and the Chief Nurse at CAMH, Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital. Her biggest turning point happened when she was laid off from her job as a nurse. At the time, she had two young kids and decided to move back in with her parents so she could go to university. She already had a diploma from Fanshawe College and getting her degree would open doors for her in healthcare leader...

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Everyone who knew Michelle Kwok as a child knew she wanted to be a doctor. She was already doing health research in high school and often talked about her dream of going to medical school. It wasn't until she started university at a school where no one knew about her childhood dream that she started to think about what would truly make her happy. 

As she started exploring different options by joining clubs and working on innovat...

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Humza Mian is known in drag as Mango Lassi. In this episode, we start by hearing about Humza's childhood and the pressure he felt to be hyper masculine. It was meeting a queer, brown person who was living his life happily that changed everything for Humza when he was in his late teens. 

We'll also find out about Mango Lassi's rise to fame in the world of drag and how she made a splash by being one of the first Queens to ...

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Vanessa Ferlaino was 23 years old when her father died from brain cancer. It was around the same time that she left an abusive relationship and decided to move across the country.

The move to Calgary marked a major turning point in her life. One of the most impactful decisions she made after her move was to take acting classes, which is where she says she was finally able to start processing her emotions.

In this episode you'll ...

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Daniel MacQueen was in his twenties and living in the UK when he started getting terrible headaches. The first time he went to the hospital, he was told he had vertigo and advised to get his eyes checked. He went to an optometrist and that appointment ended with Daniel being sent back to the hospital. Hours later, he was having emergency brain surgery. 

In this episode, you'll hear how that turning point changed the course of Da...

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February 9, 2022 31 min

Zeba Khan is the founder of Free Periods Canada and her biggest turning point happened after she watched a video showing the discomfort that people experience when they don't have access to menstrual products. It led her to buy and distribute pads and tampons to homeless shelters in Vancouver. Her next step; putting out a call to action on Facebook for others who wanted to do the same. Before she knew it, she was part of a coor...

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Erika Casupanan is the first Canadian and the first person of Filipino descent EVER to win Survivor. She's also the first woman to win in several seasons and in this episode we get all of the details about her strategy and what was going on behind the scenes and. 

It's no surprise that winning Survivor is Erika's biggest turning point. You'll also hear about other pivotal moments in her life including: the impact of ...

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Inventor Erfan Nouraee is just 19 years old and his work is already being recognized by the United Nations; He received an award for his most recent invention in 2021. 

Erfan has been on the path of being an inventor since he was a child. He started with household items; one of his first creations was a pair of goggles with fans on the sides for his mom to wear when she was cutting onions. 

In this episode, you'll also hear Erfan...

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Dr. Jenny Liu has a new take on how we should define resilience. I found it refreshing that she doesn't limit her definition of resilience to innate qualities, but also connects it to external factors (more on that in the episode). 

Jenny's research on resilience started after one of her biggest turning points; reporting a man who had been cyberstalking her. It happened while she was a graduate student and the incident chang...

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Mani Jassal is a fashion designer who focuses on luxury evening and bridal wear inspired by South Asian fabrics and culture with a western twist. Her biggest turning point; the moment her father came around and decided to support her dream of being a designer. He initially hoped she would pursue engineering but after seeing how talented she was as a designer, he had a change of heart. 

The company became a family affair starting wit...

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December 8, 2021 36 min

Adrian Sutherland is a singer, songwriter and advocate from the Attawapiskat First Nation. His biggest turning point happened in 2016 when he left his position as CEO at a development company to pursue music and spend more time with his family. 

In this episode, Adrian shares the moment he made the decision and the challenges and rewards of making such a drastic change. We also hear about his passion for music and how he has used hi...

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Parween Mander is a Millennial Money Coach and her passion for helping others manage their finances comes from her biggest turning point; when she was 16-years-old, her family almost lost their home. 

Parween's parents didn't speak much English so she was going from bank to bank with them and relaying the information when their mortgage applications were denied. Eventually they were able to get the financing they needed but ...

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November 27, 2021 24 min

Ayomide Bayowa is Mississauga, Ontario's Poet Laureate and in this episode we hear how poetry has shaped who he is today. It all started with a turning point in high school in Nigeria when he first felt a connection to poetry. 

Ayomide isn't afraid to take on tough topics either. After the death of Ejaz Chowdry, a man killed by Peel Police during a mental health incident, Ayomide wrote a poem dedicated to him and read it at ...

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Dr. Andrew Boozary grew up in a house where human rights and inequity were often topics of conversation. His mother was trained as a human rights lawyer and his father is a doctor who came to Canada as an Iranian refugee and went back to school in order to practice medicine in Canada.  Advocacy and a passion for equity in healthcare continue to be a big part of Andrew's life. 

He started his post-secondary journey pursuing a deg...

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Perdita Felicien became a household name in Canada as a world champion hurdler in her early twenties. Recently, she shared her family's story in her book, My Mother's Daughter, where we learn that the hurdles that were part of her track and field career came after her family overcame some major hurdles of their own. 

Her mother Catherine came to Canada to be a nanny and earned minimal wages while being treated horribly by so...

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Jodie Pappas is the founder of the vegan, cruelty free beauty company, Clean Kiss. In this interview, we go back to her twenties for her biggest turning point; discovering she had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). She and her husband were trying to have a baby at the time and this lead to her needing fertility treatment. She was one of the lucky ones and ended up having a daughter and later twins. 

The next turning point for her cam...

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Keely Shaw was the first Canadian Paralympian to win a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics but her journey to this bronze medal wasn't easy. After some dark times dealing with an eating disorder, she credits cycling with saving her life.

At the age of fifteen, Keely was an elite hockey player with Olympic dreams when she was injured in a freak accident after falling off her horse. She ended up in hospital in an induced coma and when...

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Valerie Azinge has always loved cooking, baking and finding creative ways to make delicious and healthy meals. While her passion for food has been part of her life since she can remember, a life changing accident gave her a new perspective. Valerie was seriously injured when she and her friend were hit by a drunk driver, her friend was killed. During her recovery, Valerie was offered the opportunity to create a cookbook and despite...

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October 20, 2021 41 min

We're kicking off Season 2 of Turning Point with an episode we recorded at a live event as part of Turning Point's partnership with Fanshawe College. 

Cheryl Hickey is a Fanshawe alum who you likely recognize from ET Canada. She has been hosting the show since it launched in 2005 and in this episode you'll find out how late nights spent learning to edit and do camera work eventually lead to Cheryl getting her big break. 

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