Alexa Deano: The world is her oyster
August 23, 2011
Alexa and her family arrived in Canada in March 2010. They settled in Fergus and joined family members who had already put down roots in Wellington County.
In the Philippines, Alexa had finished her high school education and was in the second year of college when she left the country. When they arrived in Canada, she wasn’t sure whether she would have to return to high school or continue with university/college. She also needed to improve her English skills.
Living in a small community, Alexa and her family felt somewhat isolated and were uncertain of what resources were available to them as newcomers. They heard about and contacted the Fergus office of the County of Wellington’s settlement services programme. They discussed their needs with the settlement worker and were given various options to consider. Alexa’s family decided it was best for her to return to high school.
On the recommendation of the ISAP worker, Alexa was referred to John F. Ross for an English language assessment and afterwards was placed in a combined ESL and regular curriculum program. She obtained a co-op at Shoppers Drug Mart in Fergus through the help of Ms. Rossi, her career teacher. Through the co-op, she gained Canadian work experience. But the co-op also inspired her pharmacy project for the school career fair, which impressed her teachers.
Alexa adjusted very well to the Canadian education system. By going back to high school and improving her English, she was much better prepared for her post-secondary education in Canada. She made new friends at school and was amazed that her fellow students from all different grades were so friendly.
Alexa is thankful for all the assistance she received from the County and John F. Ross, noting that her settlement in Guelph Wellington has generally been smooth and enjoyable. “If we hadn’t contacted County of Wellington settlement services in Fergus and met with the settlement worker, I don’t know where I would be today.” She has a very optimistic outlook on her life now.
After completing high school, Alexa plans to pursue post-secondary education, possibly in the healthcare field. No matter which career she chooses, Alexa is prepared to face the challenges ahead.