I immigrated to Canada from Nigeria in April 2017 as a refugee. My life in Nigeria was relatively stable until my father made enemies of corrupt officials who began threatening and persecuting my family. With our lives suddenly in danger, my parents, three siblings and I had to flee Nigeria. We arrived in Canada with little savings and no employment prospects.
Shortly after our arrival to Canada, my father suffered a debilitating stroke and found himself unable to work. In desperate financial circumstances, we applied for income assistance through Ontario Works, trying to stretch $2,000 per month among a household of six members. I tried to find employment to support my family. I applied for hundreds of jobs, but did not receive a single call back due to my lack of Canadian experience.
I learned about the NPower Canada program through an NPower Canada who also fled Nigeria. He was working full time at Accenture and persuaded me to apply to the first NPower Canada class in Mississauga in September 2017.
When I started the program, I was under the impression NPower Canada was somewhere I could register myself and they would give me a job, but on my first day of boot camp, Laura, our Program Manager sang me a different tune. She told us it was their opportunity to give and ours to earn, and we had to work really hard to get that job that we needed. From that day forward I put 100% effort in and it paid off.
I loved the NPower Canada program. I acquired marketable technical skills, earned the Cisco IT Essentials and CompTIA A+ certifications, and strengthened my communication, public speaking and leadership skills. I had a few interviews with NPower Canada’s employer partners and, less than 8 weeks after completing training, I was hired full time at CIBC as a Quality Assurance Analyst.
A few months later, I was given the opportunity to share my story with more than 100 people during my NPower Canada graduation, something I never would have been comfortable doing if it weren’t for the confidence and public speaking skills I gained at NPower Canada.
I can now provide financial assistance to my family while we continue to rebuild our lives in Canada. Less than one year after arriving in Canada, I was employed as an IT professional and started a new chapter in my life.