Skill for Change 18th Annual New Pioneers Awards 2010
The recipients of the 2010 New Pioneers Awards are an impressive group, as usual.
Visit the Skills for Change website to find out how you can take part in the celebrations.
Joan Butterfield - Arts
Joan Butterfield worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges that await new immigrants to Canada. While raising her children in a new country, Joan turned to the study of the ancient art form of decoupage. Her ability to combine this ancient 17th Century art form with current art techniques has become known as “The Butterfield” technique - a powerful vehicle for inspiring dialogue regarding contemporary and historical issues.
Over the last twenty years, Joan has been a prolific artist, with her work appearing across North America and around the world.
As the matriarch to the community of Afro Artists in Toronto, many more people’s stories are being displayed and enjoyed as a result of her achievements and perseverance.
Antonius Jamal Clarke – Community Service
Antonius Jamal Clarke is a well-known activist and visionary leader among youth, across the Greater Toronto Area. But things were not always easy for this ambitious, dedicated young man.
When Antonius arrived in Toronto, he was unaware that the stigmas surrounding him would extend past his immigration status to his age, race, gender, and culture. After many years of struggle and uncertainty, he decided that he wouldn’t let these experiences limit his potential. He directed his passion into the very community that had shaped his experience through the initiation of a youth-led organization, Friends in Trouble.
Antonius’ community involvement is sincere and born out of his own need as a community member. Often referred to as the “inner-city ambassador,” Antonius is a young man with an unwavering passion and desire to fulfi ll his mandate to bridge the gap between those who have and those who do not.
Sam Bouji - Entrepreneurship
When Sam Bouji immigrated to Canada from Egypt in 1989 with his wife and three children, he came without a business network, with limited knowledge of English, and with an unrecognized degree. In overcoming these challenges, he exemplifies the potential that results from determination, ambition and innovative thinking.
Sam Bouji started his Canadian career as a sales representative and quickly moved his way up to Associate Agency Director. Six months later, Sam Bouji established his own Agency, known today as Global Educational Marketing Corporation.
Sam Bouji works actively with charitable organizations, many involving the Chinese, Sri Lankan, Indian, Arabic and Pakistani communities. In his own community, he established the Canadian Arab Chamber of Commerce, an organization run by volunteers to help unite and improve local businesses and to build a better community. As well, he also mentors newcomers in the area of entrepreneurship. Sam gives back tirelessly sharing the wealth for which he has worked so hard.
Dr. Jamal Deen – Science & Technology
Shortly after completing graduate studies in Guyana, Dr. Jamal Deen immigrated to Canada in 1986 with his wife and infant son and accepted a job; an appointment at Simon Fraser University. He has since proven himself with his abilities and was quickly promoted to the next appointment.
Dr. Deen has become one of the world’s highest ranked engineering scientists. Awarded seven patents in biomedical systems and innovative electronic devices and circuits, he has published more than 400 peer-reviewed scholarly articles. His inventions, publications, engineering models and innovative experimental techniques have been used by companies and research laboratories worldwide.
Giving back to the community, Dr. Deen volunteered to develop and teach a ten-week Science/Engineering enrichment program at an elementary school. He mentors students and lectures to the professional/academic community in developing countries. He actively follows the career development of students and researchers from his research team, most of who have gone on to success in industry and academia.
Tsering Dolma – Skills for Change Graduate
In October 2006, Tsering Dolma arrived in Canada as a refugee claimant. Hoping to continue teaching, Tsering took ESL classes, cooked and cleaned at shelters and worked toward getting her teaching degree assessed. Upon receiving her interim teaching license, she started volunteering at an elementary school while taking a business course to upgrade her computer skills.
With no teaching position forthcoming, Tsering took the Clerical Employment Services workshop at SfC. Two months after completing this course, she was hired by the University Settlement as a community development officer.
An active member of the Community Policing Liaison Committee (CPLC), Tsering works as a bridge between the community and the Toronto police, voicing concerns and sharing safety information with the community.
Tsering has not given up her dream of teaching elementary students. She is now looking for ways to overcome her ultimate hurdle - becoming a licensed teacher in Ontario. But along her journey to achieving her career goal, she has helped countless individuals through her great works and big heart.
Karar Jafar - Youth
As an adolescent, Karar moved from Iraq to Scarborough. Leaving the war-torn country, he found himself confronted with a new system, a new language, different cultures, and at an economic disadvantage. Learning how life works in Canada was a major challenge because he lacked support and appropriate services.
As Karar made his cultural transition, he began to assume a leadership role at school as well as in the community. He sought opportunities such as the University of Toronto Mentorship Summer program and the Leadership Institute. Karar contributed enormously to the life of his high school. He became known for his rap-style presence in the auditorium, speaking of social justice.
Karar played a pivotal role as his school sought to build bridges with the adjacent community centre. There has been a strong need for the institutions to connect with youth in order to bring on new programs in his neighbourhood. Karar distinguished himself as a youth organizer, able to envision programs and bring people together to organize funding and support.