Eugene came to Canada from the Philippines in 2014, and joined our Employment program to get support in his job search. We asked him about his experience at NYCH – the obstacles he had to overcome, what he learned, and his plans for the future.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced upon arriving in Canada? 

A: The first struggle that we faced here was, “where do we start?” I mean, this is a new country; new everything. I don’t have a job. I don’t have family or relatives. I don’t have anything.

And then, when searching for a job, it was so frustrating because they always asked me about ‘Canadian experience’. I was a senior accountant…but when I came here it was so hard…they didn’t accept me. They were always telling me, “you need Canadian experience”; “your education must be upgraded”; “you education must be evaluated.”

Q: Which NYCH program did you join?

A: The program that I was involved with at NYCH was about Employment – which was the best that I could have. This is my struggle, about employment, and this is the help that NYCH gave to me – how to prepare yourself for the interview, making a resume, etc.

Q: What did you gain through NYCH programs?

A: I gained a lot at NYCH – but I want to specify about how I “gained myself”. Of all the struggles I’ve been through, NYCH pushed me to be a better person, to be strong enough, to face the struggles that I’ve been through.

I’m proud of being one of the people that NYCH helped. Because it helped a lot to know that this struggle is not a struggle – it is a part of who we are in the future. It is a part of our goal. I landed here in Canada for my dream to be successful – but the road to success is not an easy road. So this is the best thing that North York Community House gave to me. To learn how to be stronger – to achieve your goal even when the struggle is there. I’m proud of it.

Q: Is there an experience at NYCH that stands out in your memory?

A: The best memory is when they opened their doors, and they opened their arms, and they said, “we can help you.” I felt like I was in my home. Because the Philippines is very, very far away from here – and this community is like a home.

Q: What are your plans/goals for the future?

Eugene, NYCH participant

A: My goal is to raise up my family. To give a better future for my children. Because as time goes by, this is the best country that we can raise our children for bright futures. 

I know this country is growing, so my goal is also to add some [pauses]... If they need my talent to be a part of the growth of this country or this community, I will share my talent. 

Then, the most important thing is how you are as a person. So, my goal is to be a better person…to help people, to give back what I got before. Just to give back.