Ankit Hindocha’s Story
“Today I am a nursing graduate from the University of Calgary and a volunteer at a local clinic and several organizations. This status did not come easy as being an immigrant youth came with its unique challenges. The lack of sense of belonging, nervous state and alienation are the ones I experienced, however, I was fortunate to meet amazing people from a non-profit organization those helped me make this transition easier.
I moved to Calgary in 2003 from India when I was 13 years old. Attending junior high school at the beginning was very stressful because I did not have any friends, except my twin brother. I remember the day when my ESL teacher encouraged me to attend The Afterschool Program of The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY). Since the moment I walked in the room, I was greeted with sheer smile and passion by the CBFY staff that made me feel accepted for who I was. It was a great honor for me when a photo that included my twin brother, a CBFY staff, a fellow immigrant youth and I was published in Calgary Herald. I received unconditional support and encouragement from the CBFY throughout my junior high school years. The CBFY gave me opportunities to make new friends from around the world, familiarized me to the Canadian culture and made me realize that Canada is filled with exciting opportunities, especially for youth. I was fortunate enough to attend ice hockey games, go on various field trips such as movies and camping and be a part of Alberta Children’s Festival through CBYF Afterschool Program.
The impact that CBFY had on me was so impressive that I am currently volunteering for this great organization. Presently I am volunteering for the youth at the junior high school, and it gives me immense pleasure to give back to the immigrant youth through the CBFY Afterschool Program. I am able to help youth as most of them are experiencing the feelings and emotions I once experienced. It is my pleasure and honor to be able to serve the youth community and let them realize their potential and the CBFY is a great resource. We, CBFY family, are friendly, funny and supportive all the time. I love being at the giving end as much as I loved being at the receiving end once.”
If you are interested in making a contribution in the settlement and integration of new immigrant and refugee youth and their families, please contact:
Dinesh Koirala, Volunteer Resources Coordinator
Phone: 403-230-7745 Ext. 603