When Steve Park immigrated in May 2014 to Canada from his native South Korea he left behind a well-paying job to start over in a brand new country. Although he studied English in university, he hadn’t really spoken the language in more than 15 years.
At 48 years old, it was difficult for him to speak English.
An acquaintance in Vancouver recommended he visit MOSAIC. In July, he connected with Hanna Lee from MOSAIC’s Workplace Connections Mentoring Program. She evaluated his skills, suggested he enroll in job seminars and Language Instruction for Newcomers in Canada (LINC) classes in order to help him with his job search.
“Besides the seminars, Hanna found me a mentor, a retired CPA to prepare me for an interview,” says Park.
Today, he is training as a senior customer service representative with BMO; with the goal of becoming a financial services manager.
“I want to say thank you to MOSAIC,” adds Park. “I couldn’t have gotten a job without the dedicated services and support of MOSAIC and Hanna Lee.”
MOSAIC is a non-profit organization with a long, rich history of social justice and advocacy. MOSAIC was founded in 1972 by a woman who was an immigrant herself. This grassroots organization has morphed into one that addresses critical issues – legal, education, medical and housing- that affect immigrants and refugees as they settle and integrate into Canadian society.
“We are one of the largest immigrant serving organizations in Canada, with more than 40 different programs at 31 different sites,” says Dianna Lee, MOSAIC’s manager of marketing and communications. “Right now, we are assisting with the Syrian refugee crisis.”
In fact, MOSAIC was one of the first charitable organizations to commit to helping 1,000 Syrian refugees to settle in the Lower Mainland.
MOSAIC supports and empowers immigrant and refugee communities, helping to integrate newcomers into their neighbourhoods, and familiarize them with workplace culture. Its much-needed programs and services are constantly evolving and developing in response to the needs of the communities they serve.
“We have staff here who speak more than 40 languages and clients who speak more than 70,” says Lee, adding MOSAIC can’t do it without the incredible assistance of more than 400 volunteers.
“We also have volunteers from the corporate sector who offer internships and networking opportunities, or pair mentors in a particular industry with a professional newcomer.”
In addition, MOSAIC hosts an annual job fair. This past April, the organization hosted its 4th Annual with more than 50 employers in attendance, making this the largest hiring event in the city. Lee went on to say that many of the employers have said they specifically value the diverse and international candidates that MOSAIC attracts.
That’s not all. MOSAIC Family and Settlement Services offers a variety of programs focusing on healthy family relationships, parenting programs, counseling services, orientation workshops, and services for refugees and immigrant families in Burnaby and New Westminster as well as a variety of youth and seniors programs.
MOSAIC has been recognized for its excellence as an organization which cares. It’s clear that everyone at MOSAIC truly does.