"10 years ago, I was a 14-year-old living in a tiny apartment in Syria, taking care of my five siblings and attending school while my mother worked long hours to provide for us.
10 years ago, I didn’t think I could ever attend university due to my family's living situation.
10 years ago, my family and I escaped the civil war in Syria to Canada, not knowing the language or anything about Canada. However, we knew that the impossible was possible in Canada.
Now 10 years later, I am a graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Royal University and I cannot wait to see what the next chapter holds for me."
- Ibtisam Miiti
Born in Somalia, Ibtisam had to move with her family at an early age so that her mother could find work. They spent several years in Syria before coming to Canada under the Government Sponsored Refugees (GAR) Program. Ibtisam arrived in Calgary with her family in 2011 and was warmly welcomed by the staff at Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre (MCRC).
When Ibtisam started grade 10 in 2012, she also started to receive tutoring support from our Immigrant Youth Outreach Project. Soon, our long-time staff & volunteer Thanh Ly, recognized her language skills and empathic nature. Whenever Ibtisam was around and had finished her own homework, Thanh would introduce her to other students who spoke Arabic & Somali and encouraged her to volunteer as a tutor. That was the beginning of Ibtisam’ s eight (8) year long association with CCIS.
Moving to a new country, escaping a civil war & starting over is an overwhelmingly channelling experience. We know this. That is why we continue to streamline our support efforts to ensure that every one of our clients has the tools they need to find success.
We are so proud of Ibtisam and we cannot wait to see what she achieves next.
With the right support, anything is possible.