Characterized as a strong, selfless, sensitive and determined individual, it was with mixed emotion that Zajira immigrated from the Philippines to Calgary on April 22, 2013. She knew that it meant leaving behind her friends and family, but it was also the start of a new challenge. Opting to welcome the opportunity, Zajira was happy because she would be able to improve her studies, attend a prominent University, get a job, and earn money to sustain herself and her mother.

“My self-confidence was restored, since I have had trust issues with people in the Philippines . I felt that I belonged again. I did not feel alone. People are very supportive with each other and are willing to help one another. The field trips the program offered were a big help for me since I was new to Calgary and wanted to explore the wonders of the city. I enjoyed every part of each outing, and with my friends by my side, the fun just doubled up. Until now, I keep a steady connection with the Youth Empowerment Program because it helped me a lot academically, socially, and mentally.”

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