Success Story: Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services

Yamy De La Cruz is a PICS and LINC success story.

With a background in Computer Science and Web Design, Yamy moved from Cuba to Canada in 2009. Her husband had been living here for three years and working as a Computer Technologist before she arrived with their then 11-year old son. With almost no English, Yamy found her early days in Canada to be challenging and frustrating.

“When I first came here it was a little frustrating,” says Yamy. “I didn’t know the language, the culture was different, and the winter was harsh, so I realized I had to do something.”

Yamy recognized that an important first step to helping her assimilate into her new home was to improve her English. Yamy says, “It was difficult for me to start talking because I felt embarrassed. I didn’t like making mistakes. I knew I had to work on my English and get used to the culture here, so I started attending LINC Classes.”

Yamy started LINC in Level 3, and after a year of hard work she graduated and went on to volunteer at Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services. She assisted PICS with designing their website and creating a database. She also helped PICS staff create PowerPoint presentations, covers for magazines, flyers, and other materials. At the same time, with the encouragement of PICS staff, Yamy began attending ELT classes run by Margaret, also in Etobicoke.

As part of her ELT program, an 8-week co-op position was arranged for Yamy at Audmax Inc., a local Mississauga training and consulting company. “I helped them from scratch to develop their website,” says Yamy. “I felt a little uncomfortable at the beginning in the workplace because I had never worked before in Canada, but they helped me a lot to adapt.”

At the end of her Co-op term, Audmax offered Yamy a 1-month contract to finish building the website. This contract was followed by another 3-month contract that she has just recently completed. With her excellent English skills and some Canadian work experience under her belt, Yamy’s resume is significantly stronger than it was when she first arrived in Mississauga two years ago. She is now interviewing for full-time positions and doing free-lance website design in the interim.

She credits LINC and PICS with helping her settle into her new life here in Canada. “I have to be grateful to Polycultural because they put me on the track to getting a job….I got my Canadian experience, which is important to getting another job, so I’m very grateful.”

We at PICS wish Yamy continued success.

To find out more about similar programs at the Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services (PICS), please visit their website at www.polycultural.org, or phone 416-261-4901 (Scarborough), 416-233-0055 (Etobicoke) or 905-403-8860 (Mississauga).