Learning Never Exhausts the Mind

Aqeela Saddiqui Cybersecurity Training Program

“Either I will find the way, or I will make one”. Philip Sydney’s quote resonates in my story. My name is Hector, and I am a Mexican graduate in Information Technology. I started working as a System Administrator after my graduation in 2013. I wanted to be a successful professional, but good English communication skills were considered a must in the corporate world. Therefore, I came to Canada in 2014 as an International student. Later on, I decided to stay here to follow my dreams.

I remember my first days! I was really excited about being in a new country, in a different culture, living in a big metropolitan city like Toronto. I was meeting new people, making new friends at school who helped me a lot to improve my English skills. My biggest challenges were definitely language and finding a job in my area of expertise. Lack of “Canadian Experience” was a contributing factor in getting the job in my field.

I was referred to CultureLink by a friend who works in a community center and knew about the Cybersecurity program for newcomers with IT backgrounds. I immediately got in touch to inquire more about the program. They were very helpful and explained to me what the program is all about. I also attended the Information Session to know if this program was a good fit for me. I joined the Cybersecurity Training program in October 2020. During the training, the facilitator was very supportive during different stages of the program, including my job search, making me feel more confident when applying for jobs or attending interviews. After attending training, I got a job in the cybersecurity field.

I would highly recommend others to come to CultureLink- especially newcomers. They will not only get support for their settlement needs, but they will also get an opportunity to interact with other newcomers who are facing the same issues. Now I confidently call Canada my new home. I want to gain more experience and continue studying new technologies to stay up-to-date in terms of designation in cybersecurity.

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Community Connections Mentorship Program

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The goal of Community Connections Mentorship Program is to connect newcomers to services and to people who can assist them in the journey to settle in their new country. To participate, simply fill out this FORM.

Citizenship Education Mentoring Circles

For Zoom sessions, contact Hashem at hrahin@culturelink.com
Every Monday, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (January 18, 2021 to March 29, 2021)

For Zoom sessions, contact Victor at vgomes@culturelink.ca
Every Tuesday, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (January 19, 2021 to March 23, 2021)

For Zoom sessions, contact Rubeen at rchauhan@culturelink.ca
Every Thursday, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (January 14, 2021 to March 18, 2021)

For Zoom sessions, contact Lily at lkrowiak@culturelink.ca
Every Tuesday, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (February 02, 2021 to March 30, 2021)

English Conversation Circle

For Whatsapp and Zoom sessions, contact Hanaa at halsadi@culturelink.ca
Every Monday, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm (January 18, 2021 to April 12, 2021)
Every Tuesday, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm (January 18, 2021 to April 12, 2021)
Every Wednesday, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm (January 18, 2021 to April 12, 2021)
Every Thursday, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm (January 18, 2021 to April 12, 2021)

For Zoom sessions, contact Elizabeth at ehamulka@culturelink.ca
Every Wednesday, 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (January 20, 2021 to March 24, 2021)
Every Thursday, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm (January 21, 2021 to March 25, 2021)

Diversity And Human Rights Online Training (Seven Workshops)

Proactive respect for human diversity and understanding of human rights are very valuable in today’s job market. Knowing how to communicate across cultural and other differences is essential for ensuring inclusive interactions with interviewers, colleague and clients.

Seven Workshops – January 25, 2021 to February 03, 2021

To register contact Eman El Atawy at eatawy@culturelink.ca
Orientation: 10:30 am to 11:30 am on January 25, 2021
Start : 10:30 am to 1:00 pm on January 26, 2021
Human Rights Training : Three 2. 5 hour sessions on Zoom
(10:30 am to 1:00 pm on January 27, 2021, January 29, 2021 and February 02, 2021)
Interview Practice : Four 1.5 hours sessions on Zoom
(10:30 am to 12:00 pm on January 26, 2021, January 28, 2021, February 01, 2021 and February 03, 2021)

Computer Basics Training For Newcomers To Canada

Eight Hands on Computer Basics Training Sessions

For Zoom sessions, contact Hanaa at halsadi@culturelink.ca
Every Thursday, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm (February 18, 2021 to April 08, 2021)

Newcomers Speak Up for Success

Practice your public speaking. To register contact Rubeen at rchauhan@culturelink.ca
Every Tuesday, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (January 12, 2021 to March 16, 2021)

Newcomers Explore and Appreciate Toronto (NEAT)

Become a Volunteer Event Planner with NEAT mentorship program to gain hands-on experience in event planning and social media marketing. All activities and meetings are virtual due to COVID-19. Recruitment is on-going. Contact Rubeen at rchauhan@culturelink.ca

NEATwalks Events – FREE online activities and events via zoom

Upcoming Events:
Winter Game Night, Friday, February 5, 2021 (Online via Zoom) – Taboo word game
Winter Game Night, Friday, February 19, 2021 (Online via Zoom) – Family Feud
Contact Rubeen at NEATwalks@culturelink.ca for zoom link or sign up via our meetup group at www.meetup.com/NEATWALKS

Let’s Get Physical: A Free 8 Week Program for All Ages and All Level

Join us for fun and interactive evenings on Zoom, to register contact Lily Krowiak at lkrowiak@culturelink.ca
Every Monday, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm (Starting February 01, 2021 to March 29, 2021)

Volunteer Mentors Orientation

Register for a Zoom event with Mania at melendari@culturelink.ca
Tuesday, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on February 23, 2021

Career Mentorship Networking Event

Internationally Trained Professionals New To Canada
Mentors can help you find your career path and overcome employment barriers.
Come to our Speed Matching Event to be matched with a long-term Career Mentor.

Google and CultureLink Career Mentorship / Networking Event

Friday, February 26, 2021 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

To get more information about this event or other career mentoring events please contact
Rubina at rafsar@culturelink.ca or Victor at vgomes@culturelink.ca

Interview Squad

Contact Eman eatawy@culturelink.ca for sessions via Zoom

Canada Connect Program 

Contact Hashem: hrahin@culturelink.ca for an event via Zoom


It Is Never Too Late To Follow Your Dreams

CultureLink News

It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot. 

Originally from Vietnam and a healthcare professional, Lily Truong found herself looking for a career change. She registered for a Postgraduate degree in Analytics for Business Decision Making at George Brown College. She went back to school in 2019 and graduated in April 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Her job search did not go as expected and after over 4 months of applying with no responses, she began to lose hope in ever finding her dream job.

During those days of self-doubt and struggle, a friend told her about CultureLink’s Interview Squad. This program is run by volunteer HR professionals that help prepare newcomers for their job search by providing them learning, mentorship and networking opportunities.

“I signed up along with other newcomers. I had an amazing chance to have a number of training sessions with HR professionals on how to master resume writing and interview skills”, remembers Lily.

After the training, each newcomer is matched with a mentor that best suits their background and interests. Every mentor offers their recruiting experience to participants and helps them continue working on their resume in one-on-one sessions.

“I had an opportunity to work with Sonya, who is a retired HR professional with a wealth of experience in the hiring and recruiting process. Sonya was an astounding and resourceful mentor that helped me throughout my job search journey. She was quick to jump on the phone with me whenever I needed her and regularly checked in with me. Her advice and positive energy boosted my job search skills; plus, it significantly helped me regain my confidence in my analytics skills. I started to receive more interviews while working with her.” says Lily.

After 2 months in the program, she got an offer at BMW Financial Service as a Risk Controlling Analyst. Her day-to-day job is to work with financial data and validate models. She wrote in an email, “I am extremely happy with my new job and grateful to Sonya, the Interview Squad and all the mentors at CultureLink.”.

Congratulations Lily, we hope your story will inspire others to work hard for their dreams, believe in themselves and ask for help when needed.

Settlement Workers at the libraries: Service update

Tanya News, Settlement in the Community News

Toronto Public Library posted LSP Service update for newcomer clients on TPL website.

Due to the Grey-Lockdown category restrictions, settlement services at the libraries are unavailable. Settlement agencies continue to offer services by email or telephone, working from home.

Connect over the phone or online with a settlement worker who can help you get started in Toronto and Canada. This is a free service.

Find out how to:

  • get assistance finding a job
  • participate in the webinars with variety of topics
  • attend free language training classes
  • find housing, family doctor and child care
  • get help with benefit and status applications

… and much more

Contact LSP settlement workers directly for virtual service or to register for online programs:

Claudia Montoya cmontoya@culturelink.ca 647-404-2235 Speaks Spanish
Stanley Teo steo@culturelink.ca 647-404-8857 Speaks Mandarin
Yan Gu ygu@culturelink.ca 416-931-6536 Speaks Mandarin