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Andreina: A NYCH Success Story

Meet Andreina. Originally from Venezuela, she lived in Spain while studying for her MBA - and ultimately, decided to settle in Canada with her husband in March 2016. 

We asked Andreina about her journey as a newcomer to Canada, and how her experience at NYCH has helped her achieve her goals. This is what she had to say:

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

A: We came with a lot of dreams but also with fears, because we had never been to Canada before. We didn't know if we were going to like the country, or the weather, and we had savings for few months. Also, we had impressive CVs, but no Canadian experience and we had to improve our English. Our challenge was to find a job related to our professional experience, so we had to adapt our CVs according to the positions we were applying, as well as prepare ourselves for the interviews.

Q: How did you hear about NYCH? Which programs were you involved in?

We had to improve our English level so we read on the Internet that we should take the CLB test before applying to free ESL courses for newcomers. So, we went to YMCA at the Finch location, and then we met with a representative who recommended NYCH services for newcomers

The following week, we met with Lucy from NYCH and she explained to us all of the options we had available. We decided to enroll in the NYCH Employment Success Workshop with Annie and we went to the English Conversation Circle at North York Central Library. The next month, we also enrolled in the ELT Sales and Marketing Program, as well as the OSLT Entrepreneurship and Marketing Program at George Brown College - following the recommendations we received from Lucy. We were incredibly busy but definitely committed to achieve our goals.

Q: What did you gain through NYCH programs? Which achievements are you most proud of? 

NYCH programs gave us an orientation and the confidence we needed to go forward. They worked along with us on the path we had to follow. Particularly, the NYCH Employment Success Workshop gave us the structure we were looking for to start our job applications. Also, the NYCH English Conversation Circle, as well as the ELT and OSLT courses recommended by NYCH, were key factors to gain confidence with our English level. 

In all of these programs, we could meet other newcomers with similar experiences and goals; we learned how we could transfer our previous professional experience, studies and skills; and we understood the expectations for CVs, cover letters and job interviews to finally get our first jobs in Canada. 

Now, we just had our first anniversary in Canada and we are very proud of what we have achieved so far. All of the support we received and all of the effort we did was worthwhile. In just 6 months after we came to Canada, both of us were working in our professional areas. My husband started working as Business Analyst and I got a job as Digital Account Coordinator. 

Q: Is there a person/program/experience at NYCH that stands out in your memory?

A: We are very grateful for Lucy Santos and Annie Sun from NYCH. They gave us a lot of ideas and recommendations, as well as the next steps we should follow - and it helped to build the confidence we were needing. 

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

A: We want to gain more experience and continue improving our English. But now, we are sure that our future is here in Canada.

Learn more about the programs and services NYCH offers to new Canadians




Success Stories from our Culinary Employment Training

When we look at impact, we tend to focus on the immediate results. But, success hardly ever happens overnight. Achieving your goals takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

We've seen this in our own work supporting newcomers as they build new lives in Canada. We are continually learning, adapting and growing in an effort to provide the best possible means for their success.

Several years ago, we began a social enterprise with our Delightfully Yours Catering Services. Through this initiative, we provided newcomer women with training, workshops, and one-on-one coaching aimed at helping them find meaningful employment in the food industry. 

While Delightfully Yours closed a few years later, the work we did still had a positive effect. For the participants who were part of this venture, their experiences were part of a longer journey towards success - one that goes beyond the walls of NYCH.



Kinnari was in our first group of Culinary Employment Trainees. She received hands-on training through the Delightfully Yours Catering Services, obtained her Food Handler Certification, and was able to get advice on furthering her culinary education and starting a career in the food service industry.  

Today, Kinnari (together with her husband, Mitesh) is the owner and operator of barBURRITO - fresh Mexican GrillTheir restaurant is located at 50 Market Street in Brantford (just an hour drive from Toronto).





Gloria and Cecilia were also part of our Culinary Employment Training; with a similar path through our social purpose catering company. They earned their Food Handler Certifications and gained a strong understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Now, both women are running their own South American food stalls at the Toronto Weston Flea MarketThe market is located at 404 Old Weston Road, and is open on Saturdays and Sundays. 

We are incredibly proud of Kinnari, Gloria and Cecilia for their passion and drive. Their achievements remind us that we too are on a journey - and through the missteps, obstacles and changes in direction, our commitment to the success of newcomers is what keeps us going.