6 STRONG YEARS IN CANADA

On September 24, 2008, my family and I landed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as government Refugees sponsored. I was 18 years old, full of ambitions, and with a dream to go to high school then university. I soon found out that my high school days have passed. I was told that I cannot start high school at the age of 18. Catholic Social Services recommended Youth in Transition (YIT) program at NorQuest College. My big brother, John, and I visited NorQuest and were able to start YIT in November. I also joined Shaw Conference Centre in same month.

In September of 2009, I joined NorQuest College Ambassador program and the next month I joined Students’ Council. Being an Ambassador and Students’ Council representative helped me with my public speaking and I became outgoing and outspoken. I was speaking within the college and outside to donors in informing them of how NorQuest is supporting students’ success. In May of 2010 I started Academic Upgrading after improving my English and Math in YIT program. I entered into English 10-1 and high school prep Math. In the summer of 2010 I joined Canadian Red Cross as a Youth Volunteer. I graduated from NorQuest College’s Academic Upgrading in August of 2011. Throughout my time as a NorQuest student, I volunteered within the community and was part of many events at school. I can still remember when I first started giving speeches in public. I was shaking and very scared, but today I enjoy every minute of public speaking.

I decided to take time off from school and joined Canada World Youth on their Youth Exchange program between Ottawa and Kenya. I left in September of 2011 and joined fellow youths from Canada and Kenya in Ottawa were we spent 3months. In December of that year we left to continue our second phase of the program in Kenya. I returned back to Edmonton in March of 2012 and was employed by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in May of 2012. I worked with RBC only in the summer and joined NAIT in Business Administration program in September of 2012. Before starting school, I joined Alberta’s Youth Volunteer Society in August for a 4 days Moving Beyond the (Re) Action Generation Youth Conference in Banff, Alberta. In November of that same year I went on a weekend retreat with Canadian Roots Exchange in Toronto, Ontario for Youth Reconciliation Leadership training.

I rejoined RBC again in summer of 2013 and was back at NAIT in September of that year for Second year Business Administration – Management. I joined an extra-curricular program called Student Leadership Award of Distinction at NAIT in October of 2013 which ran until April 2014. In February of 2014 I went on a 2 days Youth Assembly at the United Nations in New York City organized by Friendship Ambassador Foundation. In the summer of 2014 I returned to Kenya after first visiting in 2011. I also had the opportunity to visit African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And attended my big brother’s wedding in Bujumbura, Burundi. In August of 2014 I went on International Youth Forum in Crimea, Russia with fellow Youth Delegates representing over 50 nations worldwide. This was a 10 days Forum filled with fun, educational and the best experience. I had the opportunity to once again be in New York City while on a 3 days visit coming from Russia.

Today, September 24, 2014, marks 6 years since I first landed in Canada. The past 6 years have been filled with great and fun times, but also hardships in the middle. I am very grateful for the life I am living and even though at times things get hard, I continue to work harder with determination. I am currently continuing my education at NAIT with the hope of finishing my BBA in Management in 2016.I already have a diploma in Management Entrepreneurship. I am also enrolled in International Development Certificate program at Lakeland College. I am taking online classes. On this special anniversary, I once again returned with RBC and maybe this will be for a while. I continue to do my volunteer work within the great community of Edmonton and hope to stay continue on the path of Youth Advocate work with Human Rights on the side. I am very passionate about everything that I do and put my heart and soul in all. I believe that with heard work and great determination, everything is possible. With the MostHigh by my side. I thank those who have support me throughout the years and for showing me great love. As time goes by, I hope to continue building a great and strong foundation for myself, for those around me, and many more to come. I dream is not only to work in Canada on humanitarian issues, but also around the world. I am very grateful to my family also for the support in everything I do. They allow me to be me and challenge myself.

I am honored, Humbled, and forever grateful.



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