Get the Scoop at Next Stop Canada
Reflecting Back and Looking Forward
As we celebrate our third anniversary, we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on our journey thus far. After months of research and preparation, content development and outreach, we launched our services on April 1st, 2016. We anxiously waited for our first registrant whom we wanted to equip with the most accurate and up-to-date settlement information that would prepare them for life in Canada. It was a slow start, however, as the months went by our program picked up momentum and the fruits of our labour were coming into effect. Through our services and the dedication of the team, we were able to give immigrants confidence and assurance in their move. Clients flooded us with positive feedback and constructive criticism which allowed us to develop better and more effective ways to deliver our services. This proved to us that there was a need for pre-arrival services and renewed our commitment to newcomers.
Since then, we’ve seen many changes and improvements to our platform, all of which allow us to provide quality service to our clients. Part of this includes steps to making stronger partnerships with various community organizations across the country, both pre-arrival and post-arrival. Whether this is through inviting guests to present live webinars on a range of different topics or sending direct referrals to a personal connection at the organization, the aim is to ensure clients are well informed and referred to the programs and services that are best situated to meet their settlement needs. To culminate the hard work of the past three years we had the honour and privilege of becoming the pre-arrival coordinating body. The announcement was made on January 14th, 2019 by The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. This commences a new chapter in our pre-arrival settlement services and we hope to continue to provide excellent services to newcomers as well as grow the foundations of a strong relationship with new and existing service providers.
Client Success Story
A Near Perfect Success Story
Rakshak Maini was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and recently immigrated to Toronto. Rakshak has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and an MBA in International Management from the University of London, England. He worked as a marketing and sales professional in the construction industry for eight years; thus naturally he wanted to pursue a job within the same field once he arrived in Canada.
While in India, Rakshak received a letter by IRCC, which listed the pre-arrival programs available to him. After going through them, he signed up for Next Stop Canada. Rakshak attended weekly webinars, which he considers to be one of the most valuable resources available to him. He stated that “these webinars are extremely useful for anyone who is new to Canada and wants to learn the right information and get the best suggestions on almost all the topics you can think of.” Moreover, Rakshak was able to revise his resume, tailoring it as per Canadian standards, he learned how to prepare and feel confident for interviews, and he firmly believes that his job search experience was “very systematic thanks to the mentoring connections provided to me by Next Stop Canada.”
With determination, dedication and lots of pre-arrival preparation, Rakshak was able to land an interview and secure a job within one month of arriving in Canada. After having such a positive experience, we asked Rakshak what advice he had for other immigrants like himself. He says to “get in touch with Next Stop Canada. Share your professional background with them, and I can say with conviction that they will connect you with a suitable mentor and organization here in Canada who can guide you to adopt the right approach for job hunting. It will surely yield you promising results and make your Canadian dream a reality, sooner than you think.” Next Stop Canada is proud to have been a significant part of Rakshak’s successful job search experience. We hope to continue to help every client make their move to Canada easier.
Taking the Lead with Next Stop Canada
Daniyal recently immigrated to Canada from Pakistan with his family. He’s currently enrolled in high school and has big goals for his future, to become a Cardiovascular Surgeon or a Numerologist. It’s no wonder why at his age he’s such a meticulous planner.
While he was still back home, he learned about the services offered by Next Stop Canada and used our services to help himself and his family gather information on subjects like housing, health, and job search. When accessing the services, he didn’t hesitate to ask questions from our Youth Information and Referral Specialist (IRS), who according to him always had a personal touch, which is one of the most valuable features offered by Next Stop Canada.
Quickly after registering, he was matched with Youth Mentor Su Sung. Daniyal felt he made a strong connection, found support and developed his first friend in Canada. Su Sung chatted with Daniyal over live chat and through private messages on the Next Stop Canada platform. He says all this information helped him hit the ground running. His suggestion to newcomers is to take advantage of pre-arrival and post-arrival services offered by the YMCA. He also emphasizes the importance of being prepared for all circumstances, both mentally and physically, and stay focused on your goal. He believes “Canada is a land of opportunities and opportunity awaits for those who come prepared.”
Nowadays Daniyal takes out time from his busy schedule to volunteer with the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Newcomer Youth Leadership Development Program (NYLD) to help other newcomers have a smooth transition to their new lives in Canada. However, like most teenagers his age, he sure does enjoy his free time. His hobbies include playing basketball and video games.
Meet the Team
“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi
Pony Huang, Program Coordinator
“I look forward to adding more features to the Next Stop Canada platform and making it easier to access and more user-friendly. With our effort, it will become an online community for all pre-arrival immigrants.”
Rizza Solis, Outreach and Community Relations Coordinator
“I look forward to building more partnerships, creating more relevant content and connecting our clients to the most suitable pre- and post-arrival settlement support.”
Sahar Dolatshahi, Information and Referral Specialist
“I look forward to better serving French-speaking immigrants with more contents like videos and webinars in our platform.”
Jaskaran Gill, Information and Referral Specialist
“I look forward to creating more valuable content for our clients that will give them a better understanding of what life in Canada is all about.”
Rachel (Rui) Hua, Information and Referral Specialist
“I look forward to bringing perspectives and knowledge to Next Stop Canada and make our clients’ Canadian dream reachable.”
Maria Lopez, Information and Referral Specialist
“This year I look forward to continuing serving newcomers in their pre-arrival needs and building a strong online community for our pre-arrival clients.”
Reza Talebi, Information and Referral Specialist
“I look forward to having another year of helping our lovely newcomer clients, being a part of their journey and seeing their success.”
Anusha Anowar, Youth Specialist
“I look forward to helping youth find support, information and comfort by connecting them to resources and matching them with a youth mentor, who can be their guide in this process of relocation to a new country.”
Stephanie Santos, Youth Specialist
“I look forward to contributing to this amazing team by continuing to provide support and resources to our clients, to help them in their journey to Canada.”
Virginia Barquero, Administrative Representative
“I look forward to being part of this team and to be able to see more immigrants better prepared when they arrive to Canada so they not alone in this transition.”
Being an immigrant himself Ryck Miller felt compelled to give back to the system that accepted him. His extensive experience working in various provinces across Canada makes him an excellent resource for clients at Next Stop Canada. Working different job across multiple industries, Ryck is living proof that immigrants have the will and determination to face new challenges head-on. If that’s not impressive enough, Ryck also dedicates much of his time to volunteer for causes such as Clean Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Health Cancer Care, and the local Police Advisory Council. Joining the program towards the end of 2017, Ryck has found it rewarding to receive thanks for giving advice and knowing our clients have him as an available resource.
Volunteering with Next Stop Canada
Next Stop Canada Mentor Honoured with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers
Here at Next Stop Canada, we take great pride in providing information to our clients that will prepare them for settlement in this country. One aspect of Canadian life we like to stress to newcomers is the importance of volunteering. Apart from introducing immigrants to the concept, we let them know the many benefits they can gain from volunteering. There aren’t many people who exemplify this better than our very own Next Stop Canada volunteer Sukhjit Singh, who himself started his career in Canada through volunteering. As an immigrant himself, he’s contributed significantly to our program, and we are thankful that he continues to share his valuable experience and knowledge to others taking a similar journey.
After years of volunteering for various community and non-profit organizations, including the YMCA of Greater Toronto, he was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by the Governor General of Canada on March 27th. The medal recognizes the contributions of committed volunteers across Canada who show exceptional achievements in a wide range of fields. That morning, as dozens of people filled the council chambers of the Mississauga City Hall, Mayor Bonnie Crombie presented the award to seven residents of Mississauga. If Sukhjit’s contribution as a mentor to Next Stop Canada wasn’t motivating enough for newcomers to appreciate the value of volunteering, then this achievement will surely encourage our clients to get involved in their communities.
Next Stop Canada in Action!
Professional Immigrant Associations Gather to Discuss Networking for Newcomers
There are various opportunities across Canada for immigrants to network with professionals in their respected fields. However, you can imagine how difficult it could be for someone who doesn’t have any connections to bridge those gaps. That’s why we at Next Stop Canada continuously make efforts to go out into the community and build relationships with established immigrants who can give our clients the motivation they need to begin their job search as newcomers to this country. So when we got the invitation to attend the Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)’s 2019 ‘Engage, Connect, Learn: PINs Networking Event’ we knew this was an occasion we could not skip.
The night started with an overview of the Professional Immigrants Networks (PINS), a network of professional associations and partner organizations, and how they support the development of immigrant professionals in their career in Canada. Following the introduction, an interesting panel discussion took place, which was composed of Diane Williams from the Black Female Accountants Network (BFAN), Rania Younes from the Professional Canadian Arab Network (PCAN) and Jaime Gonzalez from the Latin Project Management Network (LPMN). The panel, all professional associations collaborating with PINs, spoke at length about their commitment to serving new immigrants through their respective career paths.
With over thirty people in attendance, it was indeed a beneficial opportunity for Next Stop Canada to learn about these associations, especially since we have many clients from various Arab countries, Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. We’re also thrilled to announce this event resulted in an official partnership with the Professional Immigrants Networks (PINS). The event also served as a reminder of how important it is for service providers to collaborate to ensure the best integration of newcomers to Canada.
Canada InfoNet by JVS Toronto
Canada InfoNet (previously CanPrep) offers pre-arrival employment acceleration and mentorship services for immigrating professionals. This 8-week program will ensure you arrive in Canada well-prepared to connect with potential employers and find positions that fully use your skills and education.
This is a Government of Canada funded free employment program designed for internationally trained individuals relocating to Canada in the next two to 12 months. You’ll learn:
- how to conduct a job search in Canada,
- participate in occupation-specific online mentoring,
- how to be successful in the Canadian workplace,
- gain an understanding of your industry or sector in Canada,
- connect with employers and apply for jobs.
Services are provided in either English or French. Register with the program here:
Funded by IRCC
Connect, Like and Follow Us on Social Media!
Are you on social media? Join Next Stop Canada on our social media platforms! These pages allow us to connect with community organizations, potential clients, and local residents. Our posts include program updates, relevant events, and fun facts about Canada. Followers can connect with Next Stop Canada for news and updates about employment, networking and educational opportunities across Canada.
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