A Mentor’s Journey

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Nadya Al-Hassans’ dream of becoming an Arabic teacher was not as easy or fun as she thought it would be, by the time she started her dream job the Syrian conflict had started. “I tried as hard as I could to perfect my tasks, as you know we were all students and fellow teachers going through hard times since the conflict in Syria began,” she explains.

Nadya decided to take on a bigger responsibility by being more than a teacher who teaches her students how to read and write, “I was not only a teacher, I was a mother who would protect my students like I would protect my own children; a sister who would give them advice for their lives; and a friend who would motivate them to always go forward.”

Her students looked up to her, she was a strong mentor who always lent a hand when a student needed help, however, when the situation got worse in Syria, she and her family had to flee the country.

Nadya and her son Bashir  | LEEN ALRAMLAWI

In 2016, Nadya arrived to Canada holding on to all the memories she had as a teacher, yet worried about the students she left behind.  She was determined to continue doing what she loves the most.

Shortly after her arrival, she learned that the education system in Canada was a lot different than back home, however this did not stop her.  Nadya registered for a two-month program called the Teachers Training Program, where she learned more about finding careers in Canada, creating a resume, and networking.  She successfully completed the course, got a certificate, and attended multiple info sessions.

In 2017 Nadya joined IWC’s English classes| LEEN ALRAMLAWI

“One of the info sessions that I was moved by was about the struggles refugee kids experience when it comes to adapting to a new environment.”  All this has encouraged Nadya to apply as a volunteer to a nearby school, Central Public School. Today Nadya attends English classes at IWC to improve her language beside helping newcomer kids love their new home, keep them motivated to continue their education for a better future.

Nadya’s goal is to help as many kids as possible to live in peace and find happiness.  She hopes her story will encourage others to mentor newcomers within their community, much like she does.