When Isra came to Canada from Tanzania in 2014, she struggled to acclimate to the new environment.
It was overwhelming and scary to adjust as a young girl in high school. After finishing high school, she enrolled in college to study fashion designing but dropped out soon after, as she could not afford to continue. Instead she started working in a precarious job, which lasted a couple of years.
Isra found herself unemployed with a new baby. But she also found herself wanting more from life, not just for herself but also for her daughter.
She decided to finally take her brother, Fahad’s advice. Fahad, an HWTC graduate himself, had tried to convince her to join the program with him but was unable to convince her earlier.
“I had no experience in hospitality and was afraid of the pressure of not knowing.”
But when Fahad – after taking the Housekeeping course at HWTC – found fair employment in the hospitality industry quickly, she was convinced to give it a try. She took the Kitchen Porter course at Hawthorne Food & Drink and after a successful training placement, found employment at the Old Mills Hotel. Her life choices did not seem so limited anymore and she was ready to aim higher.
Her brother’s career path made her more and more curious about Housekeeping as a long-term career choice. HWTC supported her ambition and enrolled her in the course as she continued to work. With a baby, a full time job and a training course, Isra pushed herself as hard as she could.
“I am so happy that I didn’t quit. Life was testing me, and I passed.”
After course completion in early 2016, HWTC connected her to an employment opportunity at Sheraton Downtown Toronto. Isra was one of the two people out of twenty hopefuls to get the job.
“It made me feel like I am really special.”
Isra has been working at Sheraton ever since and has passed her probation period with flying colours. The job has enabled her to settle down in life, provide for her daughter and invest in her personal interest as a budding makeup artist.
Today she loves her new country. Canada is finally home.
Photo Credit: Soofia Mahmood