Collected from your submissions at Concordia, Centre Saint Louis, from friends, family, and...

I am happy to be here but feel like I can’t contribute to anything because my work and expertise are not recognized. I feel like I’ll be stuck doing nothing forever.- Anonymous

I immigrated to Canada on April 2009 when I was five years old with my mother, brother, sister and father. We first passed through the province of Quebec and stayed for around two years. Immigrating to Montreal was definitely an adjustment for my parents especially because they had been two highly educated adults with careers in the Dominican Republic. During our time here my parent had to go rely on public transportation and walking for the first time. Moving countries also came with the harsh reality of working any job you could find in order to pay bills. I watched my mother work at the local maxi near our house in Plamondon, and my father pursue another degree at l’ecole Polytechnique to increase his chances of finding a job. We learned to use all our resources including food banks, thrift stores, school help centres and hand me downs. Our time spent in this province was a culture shock but it also made us stronger and taught us to find community in the most unlikely places. Eventually my father received an offer to work at a company in Toronto so we moved to Ontario. Although my father had the luxury of building his career in Canada, my mother never found herself as lucky. I’ve watched my mother sacrifice her ambitions to work at groceries, hotels, and call centres. We’ve lived in Canada for 14 years and my mother has never been able to use her masters or bachelor. -Ana, 19

Bonne -Eva, 30

Moving to Canada from Colombia was one that came with many challenges. Despite facing adversity, Canada has still given me the necessary support in order to achieve my dreams of pursuing a post secondary education. - Thomas, 19

Recognizing that the health system faces many big challenges, I've been impressed in several ways by it. I had to have emergency surgery for a burst appendix when the Covid pandemic was fully underway. Not only did they take care of me well in spite of those conditions but a routine scan after the operation revealed I also had lung cancer. For that, I had surgery at Montreal General that went smoothly and doctors, nurses and staff were excellent. I've had subsequent post-surgical treatment (chemo, radiation and immunotherapy) for the last three years at Cedars Cancer Center at the Glenn and the care there has also been top notch. On top of that, it has all been free of the major costs and paperwork that I would have incurred in the United States, my former country. I even found a family doctor in the midst of everything. I know that not everyone has been so lucky; many improvements are needed to handle well the medical needs of citizens in Quebec, but I'm very grateful for the excellent care I've had for some serious medical issues which arose only months after arriving here.-Peter, 76