News & Updates

From South America to Southern Ontario – meet Dariana, Javier, and Camilla

Nov 1, 2020 | News & Updates

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday on December 1, 2020, Empowerment Squared is shining a spotlight on some of the amazing people that our supporters are helping.

Dariana, Javier, and their daughter Camilla came to Canada from Venezuela in July 2017, leaving their entire life behind. They didn’t speak English and didn’t have a support system, which made integrating in Hamilton extremely challenging, especially with a 2 year old child to care for. One day, Javier came across an advertisement posted by Empowerment Squared for a digital literacy course. Knowing that computer skills would be essential to taking care of his family, he enrolled. As a program participant, Javier was also given his own computer for the family to use. Making the choice to enroll changed their lives in ways they never imagined.

After the first course, Javier was growing his confidence and excited about the idea of continuing to develop his abilities, so he signed up for a number of additional courses with Empowerment Squared and inspired Dariana and Camilla to join him as well. They studied English, digital literacy, and other topics. They were shy and nervous at the beginning, but over time and through the relationships they built through the Empowerment Squared network, they realized that they could be successful in Canada.

Although they were professionals in Venezuela, like many others, they faced many issues with importing their skills and credentials. Through his diligence at Empowerment Squared, Javier was able to secure a scholarship to the McMaster English Language Development (MELD) program, and after being awarded the 2020 Sevigny Family Award for Academic Excellence from Empowerment Squared, Dariana is working towards her license with Professional Engineers Ontario.

“Empowerment Squared is more than an organization to us,” shares Javier, “everyone there is like family. They are warm and welcoming and they take the time to get to know you and help you based on what your personal needs are. We will always be thankful that we became a part of this great organization, and they have inspired us to make sure we pay it forward and make Canada a better place.”

Join the movement today!

Giving Tuesday is on Tuesday, December 1, but you can give early to help us reach our goal. The first $6,500 is being matched by a donor, which will double your donation. It’s a win-win!? All donations are eligible for a charitable receipt for income tax purposes, which will be issued immediately following your donation. Thank you for being a part of the Giving Tuesday movement, and for making life better for children and youth.