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CultureLink Welcomes New CEO

CultureLink News

CultureLink’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jemima Sabapathy as CultureLink’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Jemima, an empowering and strategic leader, brings a wealth of leadership experience in organizational management, operations and change management at leading organizations in the not-for-profit sector. Jemima is driven by a passion for making a difference in the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people within local communities.

“We’re excited that Jemima will lead CultureLink into its next chapter,” said Helen Latimer, Chair of the CultureLink Board of Directors. “Jemima’s years of leadership in the settlement sector, along with her personal perspective and character, will better enable CultureLink to achieve its mission to serve the needs of diverse communities.”

Jemima came to Canada as a skilled professional from Sri Lanka. Her personal journey encouraged her to help others overcome challenges and build a successful life in Canada. In the two decades since, Jemima has held senior leadership roles at WoodGreen Community Services, JobStart, and Skills for Change and served newcomers, youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, and women. Before coming to Canada, Jemima held leadership positions in education and with U.S. Peace Corps and VSO.

Jemima has been instrumental in the sustainability, growth, and expansion of organizations she worked for. She successfully led innovation, strategic planning, diversification of funding resources, labour relations, managing change and risk management.

“As an immigrant woman of colour, it is my honour and privilege to lead CultureLink, an organization with such a rich history helping newcomers successfully settle and succeed in Canada,” said Jemima Sabapathy. “I look forward to continuing my journey and empowering others to make a difference in the lives of people in need.”

Jemima starts as CultureLink’s CEO on November 15, 2021, replacing Interim Executive Director Raj Chakrawarti who will resume his role as CultureLink’s Finance Director.

Project 2050

CultureLink Uncategorised

We are excited to announce the launch of Project 2050: Climate-friendly habits to change the world!

This national movement, powered by Earth Rangers in partnership with CultureLink, is about empowering children with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle climate change. Project 2050 teaches children and youth that our habits can have a big impact on the planet, and by working together, we can build a more climate-resilient future.

Canada is one of over 120 countries that has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050! This commitment is crucial for the well-being of present and future generations. Achieving this goal requires action from everyone. This means that all levels of government as well as civil society organizations, businesses, and individuals, just like you, need to work together!

CultureLink invites children across the country to contribute to Canada’s climate-resilient future by participating in Project 2050. Learn more about Project 2050

“Today’s children will be the country’s political, business, cultural, and philanthropic leaders during the critical years of implementing Canada’s plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Igniting their passion, creativity, and optimism is critical to ensuring they’re ready to meet the challenge. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!” – Tovah Barocas, President of Earth Rangers.

Families Linked Together

CultureLink Mentorship News

In 2009, Bob Chua heard about CultureLink at a job centre. He was told that CultureLink offered programs for newcomers, and learned about one particular program that paired a newcomer with a local Canadian, a match that was meant to help the newcomer adapt to their new country.

When Bob signed up for the program, he was given the option to select an individual or a family. He chose a family friend so that he could involve his family of 4 in adjusting to their new environment.

“My name is Bob Chua. I came to Canada from the Philippines with my wife and our two sons. At the time I participated in CultureLink’s mentorship program, I had been in communications technologies for over 20 years internationally. My wife was an experienced banker while my children were in grade school.

John Schofield is the person I was paired with. He is an independent writer and we got introduced to him, his wife and son, who until now remain family friends.  We find this friendship to be priceless as we go through life’s challenges that don’t distinguish between races, gender, age, or any other differences.

I salute CultureLink, its programs and program workers. They invest time and effort in helping the integration of new immigrants. They provide inspiration at times when things can be so overwhelming, frightening and lonely for newcomers like me and my family. All of us will forever be grateful for this experience.”

Bob’s mentor, John speaks of the special bond they have built over the years.

“I have felt privileged to meet Bob and Helen and their wonderful sons and to watch them build their new lives in Canada. Witnessing their courage, resilience, faith and hard work has been amazing. In the process, Bob and I have built a special friendship that has stood the test of time. As best we can, we have helped each other face the inevitable challenges of life and we have celebrated the victories. I never expected to gain a lifelong friendship when I became a CultureLink volunteer – but that’s what Bob and I have forged, and it has truly been a blessing!”

John and Bob at a Raptors Game

Event Banner Interview Squad 20201

My Experience with the Interview Squad

CultureLink Mentorship Program

My name is Anh, and I am originally from Viet Nam. I arrived in Toronto about three years ago, I am a Newcomer in Canada.

I got my Permanent Residency (PR) in June 2019. With the PR status, I received many benefits from Government programs that are designed to support new Canadians in their settlement process. CultureLink is among the organizations that run such programs. I contacted them and signed up for many valuable events hosted by them. I would like to tell you about one of their programs, called the Interview Squad.

Interview Squad

CultureLink’s Interview Squad program is composed of many workshops, all of which focus on creating resumes, cover letters and improving interview skills in the Canadian style. During the program, there are also networking workshops where experts guide participants in preparing for the job search. One of them, for example, was on building a professional Linkedin profile.

I learned a lot from all of these workshops. But most importantly, as part of the program, I was matched with mentors to work on my resume and mock interviews. One of my mentors spent more than one month working with me on my resume. When I got job interviews, the program continued to support me with mentors to help me practice more.

Teaching is my life’s passion. All of the programs and workshops offered by CultureLink that I was able to attend helped me become confident in my decision to pursue a teaching job in Canada. And I am excited to announce that I just landed my first Canadian job: I start on November 4th at George Brown College’s Career Externship Preparation program.

I must say, as a plus, the Interview Squad program also offered knowledge on how to avoid some scam companies. Thus, my experience as a newcomer participant was most beneficial, as it provided many skills to live and work in Canada.

Thank you is not enough. I appreciate all of the things CultureLink has provided me with, including continuous support. I especially want to thank Eman and all the kind, helpful mentors.

Fall Cycling Mentorship Program

CultureLink Health and Recreation News

The Mississauga Cycles project is thrilled to announce a Mentorship Program this fall in both Mississauga and West Toronto! In this program, newcomer residents (“mentees”) are matched with residents (“mentors”) who live in their community.

After receiving online training, newcomer participants are loaned a quality bicycle, helmet and lock and take part in rides with their Mentor to enjoy the fall season.

There will also be online workshops on trip planning and bike repair as well as group rides every month! We ask that all participants take part in a minimum of three activities total, which can be any combination of mentor-mentee rides, online workshops and group rides.

Registration for the fall program is well underway!

There are about 30 bikes still available for newcomers and we will need 15 Mentors to match with our newcomer participants, too. Maybe it will be YOU! Get involved and register at the links below – the deadline has been extended to October 29th!

Do you know someone else who is interested? Feel free to share these program posters!

Still have questions? Contact Rahul Mehta, Program Worker at The Fall Newcomer Cycling Mentorship Program is made possible through funding provided from The Public Health Agency of Canada working with the Immigrations Services Society of BC, in partnership with CultureLink, HUB Cycling and the Ecology Action Centre.