It Could Be You: The Lilian To Bursary 2013

Ashton College is offering four full-time tuition bursaries, worth up to $8,000, to outstanding students.

At Ashton College, we understand the importance of finding a rewarding career. Your job shapes your identity and your well-being and it can give you a feeling of community and belonging. This can be especially important for new immigrants, many of whom waved goodbye to their support networks of family and friends at the airport, before embarking on a new life abroad.

Unfortunately, newcomers to Canada often face seemingly insurmountable barriers when it comes to job searching in their adopted country. Unable to secure a role matching their level of education and experience, many recent immigrants are faced with a common dilemma: How can I gain Canadian experience when nobody will hire me? And with college fees running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, many people do not have the option of returning to school to upgrade their skills.

We know how frustrating it is to have hard-earned expertise and knowledge remain untapped. That’s why, in partnership with Canadian Immigrant magazine, we proudly invite applications for the Lilian To bursary, covering the full cost of any full-time program at Ashton College.

If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who arrived in Canada for the first time during or after 2008 and you have the drive and ambition to succeed in Canada – YOU have a chance to win this life-changing bursary.

And who better impart the benefits of the bursary than our previous winners? Allow us to introduce you to Serah, Lourena and Melissa.

Serah Gazali, Immigration Consultant Diploma (2011 winner)

For ambitious Serah, submitting her application for the Lilian To bursary was a challenge she welcomed with open arms. “I wanted to testify that I could actually do it,” she says. After learning she was a winner she felt, “happy, elated and proud” of her achievement, especially because Ashton College had seen in her the potential to excel and give back to the community.

And this is precisely what Serah has accomplished since graduating. As a counsellor for refugees coming to Canada from the Middle East and Latin America, she uses her knowledge of Canadian immigration law, which she acquired during the program, to help make their resettlement here as smooth as possible. One of our outstanding faculty members, Nevena Djuricic, made a lasting impression on Serah. “She was amazing,” she says. “I actually still have all some of her notes and I go back to them.”

Serah feels empowered by the knowledge she gained on the program – learning about and understanding the intricacies of the law. “I think knowledge is power,” she says. But it also provided her with financial stability as she developed her career. “It [the IMCD] represents security because you can generate money,” she explains.

Lourena Dicdiquin, Diploma in Human Resources (2008 winner)

Like many immigrants, Lourena moved to Canada searching for “greener pastures.” But, she was surprised to discover her degree was not recognized here, dashing her hopes to proceed with a M.A. in human resources.

She applied for the Lilian To bursary, hoping to get her “feet wet” in the field. And with the help of our hands-on Diploma in Human Resources program, that is what she did! “It was a wonderful experience as I had a really very good teacher,” she says. “The way he taught our class was very practical.”

How would she rate her experience overall as a Lilian To winner? “It was life-changing. It gave me so much knowledge about the workplace in Canada and it was wonderful experience.” In fact, she was so pleased with the outcome of the program, she recommended the Lilian To bursary to a friend, who also won the award!

Melissa, Immigration Consultant Diploma (2012 winner)

Originally from the Philippines, Melissa was encouraged to apply for the Lilian To bursary by a friend, who had been a recipient some years before. A lawyer with a background in entertainment and contract law, she is currently the editor of Philippine Canadian enquirer.

Arriving in Canada in 2011, Melissa came to Vancouver with a desire to provide more opportunities for her children and family is at the heart of why she applied for the bursary. “It was a way for me to obtain what I want for my family, which is to have a better life,” she says.

Melissa chose to take the Immigration Consultant Diploma because of her desire to help new immigrants. “I know of the hardships of people wanting to come to Canada. I want to help them get here,” she says. “I want to help them integrate and I also want to understand the system.” Her first thought when she was told she’d won? “I was like, ‘wow I’m a step closer to my dream!’ It gave me the push that things will be better for us in Canada.”

To apply for the Lilian To bursary, complete the application from with the submission requirements by July 31. Good luck!

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