Born in Belgrade, Serbia |
Nevena, left Belgrade after completing the first grade when her grandmother brought her to Hamilton to join her parents, younger brother, and newborn sister. Her parents, who had vacationed in Canada, decided to stay here because of concerns with the political situation in what was then Yugoslavia. While things weren’t easy for her family at first with long hours at multiple jobs, the family eventually adapted and prospered. Nevena completed her primary, secondary, and post-secondary education in Hamilton and then moved to Toronto in 2005 to pursue her graduate education in Psychology at the University of Toronto. She also met her husband, Nikola (Nick) there. Currently Nevena is completing her post-doctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), where she is a clinical fellow and is researching the social consequences of pediatric traumatic brain injury.
“Toronto is a city with great energy that invites exploration”.
Like many of the European cities she has had the opportunity to travel to, she says:
“Toronto’s living-room is not in the home but out on the streets”.
This is something she says you don’t sense as much in Hamilton. Like many Torontonians, she and Nick both love exploring the diverse culinary options the city offers.
“Although studies brought me to Toronto, the thriving energy of this city keeps me here”.
Toronto as Home
SickKids really represents Nevena’s central connection to Toronto. This hospital is where she spends most of her day putting in long hours as a trainee. She explains how it is a place that represents the best of Toronto – where we work to improve children’s health in this city and country.
“It is innovative, caring, and lively, all the things that I think of when I think ‘Toronto’”.
Connection with the Past
Nevena is holding a placard she received from her parents when she moved out on her own in 2005. It is kept in the living room of her apartment where it provides a reminder of the city where her and Nick spent part of their honeymoon. She translates it as: “Belgrade, the unforgettable city”. Nevena thinks Belgrade is a very memorable city: centuries old but dynamic, youthful, and lively. Even though she has spent more years away than in Belgrade, nostalgia still pulls Nevena back to her birthplace.