Carmen is a Facilitator/Counsellor for the Trades Win Support Program at Skills for Change.
Born in Toronto, Canada and lived mainly in Mississauga, my 2 sisters and I were raised by a single mother who instilled strong values in good work ethic and taught us to make friends from all ethnic backgrounds.
As a child, I always dreamed of becoming becoming a teacher or social worker. I attended University of Toronto earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology. I pursued the TESL Ontario Certification and taught ESL/LINC students at private international schools, Centre for Skills Development and Training, Malton Neighbourhood Services, and Peel District School Board’s Adult Education ESL program. I also worked in non-profit organizations in administrative roles.
Giving back to the community is important to me, ever since I was 12 years old with my first commitment in reading to a grade 3 ESL student. Other community involvements include: Big Sisters of Toronto; Secretary/Treasurer, Fundraising Committee member, Co-Chair for a Parent School Council; Black Congresswoman tutor; and a representative for the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education. I was also an Assistant Coach and Manager for my sons’ basketball and soccer teams. I also enjoyed volunteering for United Way since 1996 and for Skills for Change’s CN Tower Climb in 2014! I also held a Secretary Board Member position for the Filipino Federation of Brampton Canadians and have done marathon walks for Terry Fox and Region of Peel’s annual 5k for United Way. Recently, I was a Mentor for Community Living – Student Link program.
When I accepted the opportunity to work for Skills for Change as a Facilitator/Counsellor in June 2014, little did I know that I would develop so much passion for this job. Supporting Internationally Trained Tradespeople to see the best versions of themselves has been gratifying and knowing that I have made a small part in their journeys is priceless. Anyone who has worked with me knows I get super excited when a client passes their trades exam or obtains work in their trade. I am fortunate and proud to do this meaningful work with all my colleagues striving towards common goals in supporting newcomers.
When I am away from work, I enjoy travelling to other countries, spending time with family and friends, watching concerts and stage shows, and meeting new people.
As I say to the clients: I know you can pass your exam, keep trying, don’t give up!