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A Ray of Hope

Aqeela Saddiqui Mentorship News

Ramiro was a university professor in Cuba. He taught Political-Economic theory, sharing with students his knowledge and experience in working with different stakeholders to develop partnerships. This year, he moved to Canada. As a newcomer, his first goal was to find a job. He reached out to us hoping to find support in understanding the Canadian workplace environment and improving his resume and interview skills.

We invited him to join our Interview Squad program, where he would receive an enormous amount of information and practice on how to apply for jobs in Canada, and especially on the interview part of the process. The Interview Squad Mentors work to help participants tailor their resumes and run a number of mock interviews to prepare them for the real thing.

The program also includes a training session in ‘Diversity and Human Rights’. This session prepares participants for cross-cultural interactions in a professional setting. It also encourages respect for human diversity.

On special training sessions such as the one mentioned above, we ask participants to fill in a survey for feedback. From those surveys, we learned that Ramiro was impressed with how much information he received and how prepared he felt to start his life in Canada. He wrote:

“It was a very good time to learn about a lot of things, new definitions, concepts, history, and (to get) a feeling of belonging that has been developed in a brief time. Canada is a very multicultural society, the tools and knowledge provided in this training are just the beginning of a lifetime experience. This training has positively impacted me to become an active part in supporting and understanding people in my workplace, and society.”

Ramiro was also surprised by the news he received at the end of the Diversity training. The note continues:

“I would like to highlight the perfect timing of this training, and the happy news I received yesterday. I have been offered a job at Mount Sinai Hospital. This job, Healthcare  Screener, presents for me a very special opportunity to start building my career, interact with Canadian society, and pay forward the support provided by the Canadian government, even more in this unprecedented time of COVID-19. I am truly excited to start working. As a newcomer, I feel ready to transfer my skills and contributing to the safety of my workplace environment. Diversity and Human Rights training has been a perfect complement to face my first job experience in Canada.”

When we develop our programs, we think of the challenges newcomers face and try to provide solutions to their needs. It often escapes us, however, the impact of our contribution. That is until we read lines like this:

“My infinite gratitude to CultureLink’s staff, the Interview Squad program, and the mentors who supported me during this time. I grew personally and professionally, and as said previously, this is just the beginning of a lifetime experience, I want to keep growing and contributing to my new society”.

Congratulations Ramiro! We wish you nothing but all the very best in your new Canadian life.