Dufferin - Peel Catholic District School Board






Issue 2




Staff and students of John Cabot SS were treated to a week of global

education and entertainment from May 4-8, 2015 as daily continental

pavilions were organized to highlight many of the sixty-one birth countries

of the Cabot community. The week, overseen by chaplain Carolyn

Esvelt and settlement worker Sherry Abdelmessih, took place largely

due to the vision of Grade 12 student Luis Perez.

Born in Medellin, Colombia, Luis has always had a strong connection with his South

American homeland and culture even though he moved to Canada when he was five. In

Grade 10, he first thought of organizing a school event that allowed him and others who

have lived in other countries to teach about their homelands; however, as a junior student,

he said he lacked the confidence to take on such a massive endeavor. In his graduating

year, though, Luis said he “…wanted to leave a mark at Cabot, to do whatever

[he] could to celebrate how good [his] years at Cabot were.”

After his initial proposal was approved and teachers joined Luis in making Cabot’s Culture

Week a reality, it was time to organize an enormous group of student performers,

promoters, artists, and volunteers into continental groups to rehearse performances,

create presentations, prepare food, and spread the news about this exciting event. The

tech crew, led by Mr. Mooney, was also there every day to lend a hand when needed.

When asked about his purpose for proposing a week of multicultural celebration, Luis said, “I wanted everyone

to realize how culturally diverse we are and acknowledge that everyone is equal no matter where he or

she was born. Also, I wanted it to be a whole

school effort so that students could see how

their small contributions could lead to a week

of great education, fun, and interaction. This

would also give the Cabot community to see a

different side of a person or a country, too.”

“A highlight of our week was how many people

came to check out our continental pavilions,

at least one hundred in each lunch!” said

Perez. “The energy and excitement of our

audiences was also amazing. The performers

were so diverse, proud, and talented, too.”

“I want students to know to follow their hearts when they want to do something and be confident that they

can make a difference. Don’t live a life looking back at high school and regretting what you didn’t do because

you weren’t confident enough to take that first step.”

Rhonda Fox, ESL teacher, John Cabot SS

Food for thought

Highlights of this issue:

Making a Difference 1

Peer Mentoring 2

Cultural Expressions 4

Trips 6, 7, 8

Artwork 9

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong.

The amount of work is the same. Carlos Castenada

If you stumble, make it part of the dance. Anonymous

If you don’t make the time to creating the life you want, you are

eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with

the life you don’t want. Kevin Ngo

Miscellaneous 8

Faith page 16

Map from Wikipedia

Why parents are powerful teachers


Children are like wet cement. The way they are moulded will be the way they stay for the rest of their lives. Thus, I believe that parental values

are the strongest influence on children’s lives. Parents are always the primary role model and mentors placed by God. Children are quick to imitate

and learn from the people around them. The values taught at home will be the ones that define their world in the future.

From birth until the stage of adulthood a child is highly dependent on their parents’ love and care. She or he looks up to them and follows the

same values that they do. It is a parent’s duty to mould the child based on these values, so that the child remains on the right path in the future.

One of the major reasons for many crimes committed in our world is that perpetrators either have not been brought up with good parental values,

or haven’t felt the love of a parent at all.

Children are quick learners and tend to imitate people around them. In these early years, the grasping power of a

child is high and it is unquestionably important that they were brought up in an atmosphere of right values. The

startling fact in many families today is that although the parents do their best to teach the children the right values,

they themselves fail to live by them. The children are quick to observe the hypocrisy and find their parents not practicing

what they preach, which leads them astray. Surely actions speak louder than words.

The values imparted at home will be the ones that will define the children’s worldview in the future. In the turbulent

world we live in, a growing child is bombarded with scores of ideas and different values, but it is only that values

that have taken root in their mind at an early age that will influence the value system they ultimately choose to follow.

There is absolutely no doubt that parental values are the strongest influence on a child’s life, as parents are the

primary models and mentors, children are quick learners and imitate the actions of those around them, and the values

imparted to them at home will be the ones that define their worldview. I believe the Bible when it says to train a child on the way he should

go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Abraham George Mathew, St. Roch SS

My name is North Viola I am 15 years old. I am a grade 9 student.

I have been in Canada since July 2014. I moved to Canada

because my dad wanted me to

come here, and I wanted it, too. I

want to have a better life here in

Canada, because there are better jobs here than in the Philippines.

One of my experiences when moving to Canada is that it was my

first time going on a big plane. I was excited even though the trip

was so long. Since moving to Canada, I have been camping with

my family, and I went to Canada’s Wonderland. It is big, and it is so

much fun!

When I first came to Cardinal Ambrozic, I thought the school was

old because of the bricks on the outside wall, but when I went inside,

I knew it was new. The school is great, so clean, and the students

are friendly.

When I first came to

the ESL class, I was

Meet a peer


I’ve been selected to be a peer mentor.

I’m very excited about it...

shy because I didn’t know anybody. However, they were all nice

and hardworking. The teacher used a smart board, which I never

saw before. I learned the basics for English and I learned that all of

the students in ESL came from different parts of the world and the

class helped me make friends too. The trips were fun and I experienced some traditions and

customs of Canadians on our trips (i.e., snowshoeing).

For next year, I have been selected to be a peer mentor. I feel excited and honoured to be one;

I will do my best to help new ESL students who will come here from different parts of the world.

North Viola, Cardinal Ambrozic SS


In Nigeria, I lived in Lagos, a very big place

and also a friendly environment. Life in it

isn’t difficult nor easy; it depends on you and

the choices you make on how to live your life.

There are people whose parents have the

money, but their children decide to do otherwise.

Some people end up in the streets either

because they have no money to go to school,

or they decide to be unserious. Most people

who are on the streets begging for help or

asking for money come from the rural areas.

On the other hand, my country is peaceful

and fun. There are lot of fun places to go to,

such as museums, stadiums and plenty more.

Tenny Debo-Lawal, Cardinal Leger SS


Page 2

My country Guyana

The country in which I spent my childhood

is Guyana. This country was

Marlon Trotz was born in Canada, but spent his childhood

in Guyana. He is a creative teenager who seeks

believed to be discovered by Spaniards,

but Guyana’s history states that to study fashion design. His ambition is to be successful

and to leave his mark like his father did.

the Amerindians crossed the Bering

Straight and came from Asia to discover

Guyana thousands of years ago.

They gave the country its name which means the land of many

waters. Actually, the country was called Guiana before Queen

Elizabeth took over. It gained independence from Britain in


Africans were brought as slaves by the Dutch to plant sugar

cane and rice in my country. They also cultivated cotton, but

Guyana’s two main exports are sugar cane and rice. Both are

cultivated on a very large scale. We grow lots of fruit, too. The

markets are always stacked with juicy fruits like mangoes,

orara, and nuts like cashews, and lots more.

Guyana is not a big country. Americans call our land an island, but it is not surrounded by water. It

has three bordering countries: Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela. We are the only English speaking

country in South America. It is also known as the land of six races.

Our main tourist attraction are the Kaieteur

Falls, among the highest waterfalls in

the world. Back in Guyana some of my

favourite activities include fishing, playing

cricket and climbing trees.

I will always love my country… my beautiful Guyana!

Marlon Trotz, St. Marguerite D’Youville SS


The Dutch, English

and French all had

colonies in Guyana.

Britain took over the

Dutch colonies in


Everything in the forest is built perfectly, the atoms aligned

just so in order to form the unique textures of the tree bark

or the sharp angles of a rock face.

It was just another hike, another walk through the woods. Fall is always the

best time for hikes, but this time I went during the spring. I haven't gone on a

chilly spring forest walk for a very long time since I already started the semester

and didn't have much time to go anywhere. But what can I say? The love

for going on a hiking trip always finds a way.

The trees hadn't lit their leaves with color as much as I had hoped, but the strong wind, which was usually blocked by the trees, chilled the air in such

a way that I couldn't help but imagine the white winter wonderland that these woods would soon become. I couldn't take my eyes off the beautiful

green scenery of the nature.


I was walking on a trail that ran along deep into the forest. After only 250 feet, the trail cuts through a clearing

for the ugly power lines that run up and over the mountains, but after that the rest of the trail is pure

nature. While walking, I thought about how you shouldn't just look at everything in the forest as a whole.

You have to look at each individual piece – leaf, twig, bush, and stone – as its own piece of beauty. Every small thing in the forest has such enormous

detail that no one could possibly describe it. You could take any part of the forest and study its structure and unique shape for hours. Everything in

the forest is built perfectly, the atoms aligned just so in order to form the unique textures of the tree bark or the sharp angles of a rock face.

My brother and I went off the trail, and I spotted a beautiful caterpillar on the boulder where I stood. We urged the caterpillar onto a flat rock and

brought it with us to show it to our parents. When we were ready to head back down, I let the caterpillar go. As I put down the rock – which had

recently been like an airplane flying through the air for the caterpillar – it didn't seem anxious to get off. Rather it slowly slogged off.

I usually don't like to disturb nature, but perhaps I had given this caterpillar a bit of excitement and change in its ordinary life. All it ever did in life

was crawl around looking for food. And although I had probably scared it to the point of a heart attack at first, perhaps it actually enjoyed the ride.

I stood there and watched the caterpillar slowly crawl along the rocks, heading back into the woods on its

predetermined path, as if nothing had happened. Who knows where it was going? It may still be trying to

get there in a week, but it just keeps on crawling, never giving up, never stopping for anything.

This trip had been one of the most amazing hiking trips I have ever gone to, I learnt a lot of things that extend

beyond watching the beauty of the nature. I will definitely find time to come back for another trip in this


Fares Hammal, Philip Pocock SS


Page 3


St. Francis Xavier's first "Cultural Expressions" event was a

huge success! The event was organized by newcomers and

ESL teachers who spent several months preparing a showcase

of many diverse cultures. Pavilions were set up with all

sorts of cultural delicacies and there was plenty of entertainment

including singing, dancing, speeches, slam poetry

and more! The evening was memorable for students and

parents alike and we are already excited to begin discussions

about making this an annual event at our school!

Mrs. Rudolf Temple's ESL class celebrated Chinese New Year with a wonderful presentation on how

this event is celebrated with our Chinese students. The class learned about special gifts of "lucky

money" given to children, the cultural dance with "lion heads" and later even had a chance to experiment

using chopsticks. Special thanks to our settlement worker, Mr. Aguas, who worked with the

students and was instrumental in making this presentation a success!

Elizabeth Rudolf Temple, ESL teacher, St. Francis Xavier SS


Gia Han and Amy Truong singing Que Huong Toi



They say, “A healthy mind resides

in a healthy body,” According to

that, we need to be fit. If we are

very rich and are not healthy, our

money is of no use. In order to keep myself

healthy and fit, I play soccer. Besides the health

benefits, it gives me immense pleasure. Soccer is

a special game. It needs all of the qualities of a

fit person, a healthy mind, a healthy body, speed

and communication.

Soccer can make you immensely popular. We

can hear or see names such as Messi, or Ronaldo

in the media every day. The most played game

on the planet has an immensely large number of

fans following popular soccer players. Last year

FIFA World Cup kept everyone in front of their

TVs. Germany won the tournament. There are

many leagues in which soccer is played, like “La

Liga” , “Barclay’s Premier League”, “Bundesliga”,

etc. The top teams in the world right now are

“Real Madrid” , “FC Barcelona”, and “Chelsea.”

Soccer can be everyone’s favourite sport if they

pursue it with passion. And if they do it, it benefits

their health.

Hridaypreet Singh Hothi,

Ascension of Our Lord SS

Feeling nervous and scared is a normal feeling to a new

student, but not for Michelle De Leon and Vance Saria.

They faced their fear and presented themselves as candidates

for student council.

Michelle De Leon and Vance Saria, students who recently

moved to Mississauga from the Philippines, will be members

of John Cabot CSS’s student government in the 2015-

2016 school year. Their job is to be the voice of Grade 10

students in the school.

“I have stage fright and I’m not confident in my English so I thought being involved in

student government would help with that,” De Leon said. She also joined the government

to help others, especially new students from different countries who may need guidance in

a new school.

Vance Saria joined the government to share his ideas and improve his communication

skills. “I’m very excited and nervous,” Saria said.

School government is important for many reasons. One is that it

helps Grade 9s and new students with things they need and it gives

them a voice. It also keeps people updated on upcoming events in

the school.

“I’m really excited for the August Get Ready Program for Grade 9’s

because I really feel that I’m part of student council and I have experiences

to share,” De Leon said. “It will be my first job as Grade

10 rep, too!”

Michelle De Leon and Vance Saria, John Cabot SS

Page 4 V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2


Photos from:



The first thing

we did on our

trip was go to

the Half Way

Hall. After eating

our snacks, we

went to the ball

room. My dance

partner was Rita.

The Franklin

dance we did

was easy and fun. Then we went to the Grainery to

grind the wheat. Spinning the grainery wheel was hard.

We also went to see the sheep and we learned how to

make yarn. I wanted to touch the spinning wheel like

the Sleeping Beauty. After the sheep, we saw Daniel and

Elizabeth House. They had 8 kids who helped with the

chores. They only had one school and one teacher in

Pioneer Village and the teacher taught all the students

at the same time. At the cemetery we saw a memorial

for the family that lived at Pioneer Village. Later, we saw

horses, ducks, geese and a huge rooster. At the print

shop we learned how they made newspapers and after

that we went outside and took a picture of the whole

group. Then it was time to go back to school. It was fun

and I want to go there again.

Deyana Yousif

We all went by a school bus. I had

fun with my friend Deyana, and I

met a new girl named Mina. We saw

a horse and a sheep. We ate lunch

and snacks at the Half Way House.

A halfway house is for people who

travel and need a place to sleep and

eat. After that we went to the ball

room we learned a dance called

Franklin dance invented some 200

years ago. Next we went to the

grainery to grind the wheat. We also

saw the school. It had two doors but

they both lead to the same way....

My favorite house was the Doctor’s

House. Everything was different.

They didn't have any technology or

tools like we have now. I also

learned how to cord the sheep wool.

Then we saw more houses and took

a group picture. The day was fun. I

learned new stuff and I enjoyed it.

Rita Banyameen

After having snacks at the Half Way

House we went upstairs to the ballroom.

My partner was a girl. In the grainery

we had a chance to grind the wheat and

I went first. After that we saw the

sheep and learned how to cord the

wool. It was kind of easy and it was to

help clean the wool of grass and dirt.

Then we went to their first house where

we saw a spinning wheel. We went to

their other house which was bigger,

painted and had more rooms. After

lunch we went to see the school. It had

one side for boys and one side for girls

to come in. There was one classroom

for all the children. After that we went

to see the church and the cemetery.

We also saw a rooster, a duck, geese

and the horses. I was the loudest when

we were there. We went to the print

shop to see how newspapers were

made. After that we took a group picture.

Then it was time to go back to

the bus. The trip to Pioneer Village was


Sarah Toma

Everyone has a special place. My special place is

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Many tourists come to

Kuala Lumpur and to Malaysia’s beaches and

islands for vacation and to buy souvenirs. They

enjoy the city, islands, and go to different states

of Malaysia such as Ipoh, Melaka, Terenggan and

more. They love Malaysian food, which is all

about spices. They stay in the hotels beside the

beaches, as they like to go scuba diving and snorkeling.

Arvin Joseph, St. Angela Merici

Some people believe that Africa is a really dirty and small jungle, or country, rather than a

continent. The media doesn’t even help matters but join to deface the image of this beautiful

continent by only showing our bad sides rather than the best of us. They fail to acknowledge

that this world is not heaven, and every country and continent has its strengths as well as its

flaws. No place in the world is perfect.

Another big misconception of Africa is that it is a desert, jungle and we in Africa live in huts.

We really do not blame those who think so because that is what the media has shown them.

To counter this point go to to see

10 amazing buildings in Africa. The photo next to this text shows some nice houses in Africa.

People ask really weird questions about having pet lions or giraffes in Africa. This is very wrong. In Africa, pets are only in zoos and no

one keeps lions and bears in their homes.

The final and most annoying misconception is that everyone in Africa is dark skinned. This mentality is very wrong. We have those that

are light and also dark and even at that, skin colour doesn’t matter! Africans are generally beautiful people with really interesting cultures

and different languages.

Uwakmfonabasi Ita Nyong, Loyola SS


Page 5 V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2

What a fun trip!!!!


Twenty eight students, two teachers and a settlement worker

visited Downey’s Farm in October. The weather was gorgeous and

the students had lots of fun with the activities prepared for them:

wagon ride, pumpkin education, corn maze, haunted house, animal

farm and making scarecrows from scratch! We had a delicious

lunch in the farm bakery - pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies and

pumpkin pies! St. Marcellinus students made new friends with St.

Joseph's students who were there at the same time.

Agata Bojarska, ESL teacher, St. Marcellinus SS

St. Marcellinus St. Joseph


Page 6


Rhonda Fox, ESL teacher, John Cabot SS

In March, students in John Cabot’s ESL classes

spent the day at Silver Creek Outdoor Education

Centre in Caledon. While there, students got to

know each other better through cooperative

games and team building challenges. Since many

of them had recently moved to Mississauga from

other, and mostly warmer, countries, it also gave

them the opportunity to interact with the Canadian

winter environment in a new way. The highlight

of the trip, though, was snowshoeing

through the forest, a first for everyone in the


As an Earth Day outing, John Cabot students in ESL classes travelled to Ripley’s

Aquarium. While there, they toured the many interactive exhibits, walked and

crawled through tunnels as marine

life of every kind swam around

them, touched horseshoe crabs and

stingrays, and watched a live

aquatic show. Because of their

outing, they gained a further appreciation

for the diverse ecosystems

of our planet and how important it

is that we protect them.


On Friday, May 22 nd , John Cabot students

in Ms. Fox’s class spent the day volunteering

at Canadian Food for Children

(CFFC), a local charity with a global

reach. While there, students organized

and boxed books, school supplies,

housewares, and clothing that was added

to a shipping crate bound for El Salvador.

Students also had the chance to meet Dr.

Andrew Simone, the founder of the organization,

and talk with him about his

inspiration for CFFC, visits to his partner

organizations in more than thirty countries,

and lessons he’s learned from his

life of service.

Canadian Food for Children, located at

Dixie and Lakeshore, is always in need of

summer volunteers. If you’d like to help

CFFC make a difference in the world, go


for more information.

Page 7



St. Francis Xavier SS tours the Niagara region

submitted by ESL teachers Agnes Dworakowska

and Elizabeth Rudolph Temple

Above: Butterfly watching at

the Butterfly Conservatory

Above: Journey Behind the Falls-

St. FX students enjoying a group photo

Above: From all different parts of the

world, these boys have created new

friendships as a result of experiences like


Left: Enjoying a beautiful

June afternoon:

Niagara Falls in the


Above: Suhail Mughal is excited to

have a butterfly land on his arm

Left: Can you spot a

butterfly on Mr.

Aguas’s hat?

Mohammed Qatan is a student

at Father Michael Goetz SS.




Page 8 V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2

My hopes and dreams

I have many hobbies and interests, like

singing so loud, dancing and drawing… I

also have lots of dreams for the future,

such as being a singer or actress or an

Indian dancer. My favourite thing in the

world is listening to music and singing

and dancing at the same time. Being a

singer or actress is not easy. You have

to take responsibility for yourself and be

confident. Another important thing is to

trust God, as without Him you are nothing,

and you need His help to be successful

in life.

Julia Ajielat,

Ascension of Our Lord SS

My name is Klaudia.

I was born in Poland – in the South part, close to beautiful

mountains called Tatry. See the picture taken by me last

year. It shows the Morskie Oko which means “ Sea Eye .”

This lake is surrounded by the mountains and you have to

climb to 1395 meters above sea level to see it.

Polish climate is very similar to Canadian climate, and we

have also a lot of snow in the mountains.

I am looking forward to meeting new friends this winter!

Klaudia Pilch, Our Lady of Mount Carmel SS




My basketball

role model, Stephen

Curry, is

the most amazing basketball player in his

generation. He plays for the Golden State

Warriors, and he has led them into a great

season this year. He has the most amazing crossovers and jump

shots, he can score a three pointer like nothing and he has a speed

like lightning. The way he works with his teammates is amazing.

They are a very young team but they can collaborate with each

other and trust each other with Stephen Curry’s help. He has a

partner during the games to shoot three pointers with him, and his

name is Klay Thompson. Klay scored 37 points in one quarter,

which is amazing. Stephen Curry’s career high point is 54 points

against the NY Knicks. He is nominated for the MVP award for the

2015 season.

Paul Vincent Cantero, Philip Pocock SS


I spend a lot of my time on my computer. I see that computers are so

important since they are a source of information and entertainment,

but it is not good to spend all of your time on them. I spend most of

my time learning how to program them. Programming became my

hobby, and I gradually got better at it. It’s been 3 years now since I

started learning programing, but I still have a lot to learn. I also like

playing games on my computer. I play most of the new games every

day. Some people think that playing video games is bad; I think it is

good, but within reason. Most importantly, I use my computer to do

most of my school work. You can use computers to access the internet

which is the most important source of information. In conclusion, I like

computers because they are a good source of information and they

help in school, also because they are a great source

of entertainment.

Shafiq Shahin, Philip Pocock SS


Another month has come

But still not right; each and every day full of loneliness

I remember the good days we had together

The laughter and tears we shared

I still remember when we were strangers at first

And became closer and closer

But suddenly it all changed

We were apart

We can’t be together anymore

No more laughter to adore

And no more jokes to hear

You are there with others

And I am here with them

But I know we still care about each other.

I will never forget your smile

And how we laughed together.

You will be my best friend forever.

Nicole Malquisto, Philip Pocock SS

Chinese Symbols by Vicky

Vicky shares some Chinese New Year traditions, such as the symbolic

good luck gift of money in an envelope or "hong bao."

St. Francis Xavier SS celebrating their traditions

Page 9 V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2


There are many people in your class, but only a few are your friends. I

met my best friend four years ago. She was new in the class so everybody

helped her to be comfortable in the group. Over time we became

more close, but it was not only with her that I became close. I got

close to Melanie, Mirian, Geral, Jair, Sebastian and Orlando. We were

different but at the same had so many things in common. So when

they heard that I will be traveling to Canada, they were sad. But even

so, we enjoyed the short time we had left together. Now I have been

People say that friends come

and go. Nicole Namo Balbin

does not think this is so. For

her, friends are here to stay.

in Canada for a few months. When I

talk to them, it does not seem like we

are miles apart.

Nicole Namo Balbin, St. Paul SS

Loyola ESL students elected their representative to the school

student body council for the 2015-2016 school year. There were

5 ESL student candidates who provided their peers with their

own convincing and impressive campaign speech to win their

votes. Final count showed Selina Song receiving the most number

of votes; she will be supported by Carson Wu (2 nd place).

They will be involved in discussion and planning in relation to

the school’s newcomer club (LIFT), as well as future projects

and activities.

Mr. Giancola (Principal), Ms. Scanlon and Ms. Battaglini (Vice

Principals) extended their congratulations to all the candidates

for their effort and participation. The activity was also made

possible through the support of the ESL teachers, Mrs. Danko-

Dumais and Ms. Oliveira.

Congratulations, Selina! Congratulations and well done to all

the candidates!

Jess Aguas, settlement worker

Loyola Elections

Our last photo!

From left to right: Geral, Melanie, Mirian and Nicole;

Top row: Orlando, Sebastian and Jair

“In the tapestry of life, we’re all connected. Each one of us is a gift to those around us,

helping each other be who we are, weaving a perfect picture together.” – Anita Moorjani

Staff and students of John Cabot have combined their talents to give life to a new project

that is sure to become a longstanding Cabot tradition: weaving sleep mats from

discarded milk bags that are then given to Canadian Food for Children to send worldwide.

This has been a true community project.

First suggested by teachers Ms. Mann (CYW) and Ms. Mascarenhas (Canadian World

Studies), Ms. Mittica (ARD) ran with the idea, approaching Mr. Marcantonio (Business)

who constructed one large and several smaller

looms to begin our work. Countless bags were

then donated by students and staff schoolwide.

After watching an online tutorial, students in the

Planning for Independence class flattened and folded milk bags donated from an ongoing school collection.

Then students like Britney Debique (pictured left) prepared weaving strips both at school and

home that she shared with her Grade 10 GLE classmates and students in ESL classes like Scarlett Nguyen

(pictured below) who began to work on the looms.

When asked about the hours she’s invested in this new endeavour, Britney Debique said, “In Grade 3 I

realized how little things can make a big difference when I collected pop can tabs to aid in wheelchair

construction. Again, I see that small things like milk bags can add up to a lot to the people who get our


Scarlett Nguyen spoke of how proud she was of her work and how therapeutic working on the loom

can be. “I was excited when I looked on the Internet and found out how many things can be made

with the milk bags that people usually throw away. I want to learn how to make the milk bag teddy

bear next!”

It takes approximately fifteen hours to fashion one large mat, hours that members of our community

have given enthusiastically and proudly.

Rhonda Fox, ESL teacher, John Cabot SS

A Common Thread Through the John Cabot SS

Page 10 V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2















Moving to Canada is a positive change. It’s a nice country with

beautiful weather and good housing. It has great tourism attraction

such as Niagara Falls and many other places to visit.

Its capital Ottawa is quiet and nice, and full of opportunities.

I think that moving to Canada is a positive change especially

because of good schools and a wonderful educational system.

It’s a country where children can develop their intellect and

intelligence while growing up. Canadian schools provide good

learning facilities. You can also make new friends.

I also think that moving to Canada is a positive change because

of the job opportunities it provides. There is a vast

amount of jobs for people to apply for. From the workforce to

being a doctor, it all depends on the school you go to and

whether you make the most of your opportunities as it is a

large country.

My third reason on why I think moving to Canada is a positive

change is because it provides affordable housing and constant

electricity. The houses are great and the utilities for water and

electricity are also great.

In conclusion I would say that it is a positive change because

of the good educational system, the job opportunities and

affordable housing. I would want the same for all my friends

and family in my country, Nigeria. Wouldn’t you?



Life is change; you just have to move on.

Muiz Adewusi, Cardinal Ambrozic SS


















Entering a new

high school is a

big step for most

teenagers, especially

those with

a language barrier.

iFun program

is meant

to assist these

students with

this new, and

sometimes very



My friend and I joined iFun this year, after hearing about it from our

school settlement worker and ESL teacher. Being newcomers from

different parts of the world, and realizing how difficult this experience

can be, we decided to participate so we can make a difference. Not

having an opportunity like this, we thought it’s a great way to prepare

and make these students more ready and comfortable for their high

school experience.

During the two day training, we learned what to expect and what it

takes to be a good leader. During the third day, we welcomed the

newcomers in the orientation. We lead activities that included: group

discussions, games designed to familiarize them with a new environment,

and a presentation related to what school experience was like

for our group. We also shared our personal advice and tips that we

thought were necessary to successfully adapt to the change.

The iFun program taught us, peer leaders, many leadership and interpersonal

skills. It helped us feel more connected to others with similar

experiences. It also gave us a chance to meet amazing people, who

we are glad to call friends. Overall, it was a life changing experience

and we hope to participate in this program next year.

Luma Jaber & Wiktoria Gajowniczek, St. Paul SS

I’m Mena from Bagdad, Iraq. Many of you might think that Iraq is the

most dangerous country, especially at this time, but every country has a good side even if there are dangers. Because of the dangers, I eventually

moved to Mississauga.

It was my first day in a new high school. I tried meeting new people with the little bit of English I spoke. That was very hard for me. I was talking

with Mr. Perczyszyn, a guidance counselor. He gave me my schedule. And he went with me to my ESL class. I was thinking on my way to the class,

“How can I understand these people? How can I talk with them? Will I be fine here? I have to learn English so fast so I can talk to them without

thinking and translating in my mind!”

Many things went through my mind until I heard Ms. Matanog saying to me, “Welcome to the first ESL class!” I felt so scared that I just wanted to

cry. “Be strong; don’t cry,” I said to myself.

I went inside the class, and the teacher made me sit between two boys. I was shy and embarrassed because back home we have separate classes:

girls have their classes in the morning and boys in the afternoon. I took a breath to relax. Then I thought, “What if I will be absent one day? How

can I get my lessons and my homework? How about if I have a test? How would I know? I have to get involved with my classmates. I have to talk

to them. I don’t have to be shy. I should make friends.”

I started to talk with the person who sat beside me. His name was Vance. He was a nice boy. I asked him to help me with

my homework and assignment. Then we became friends. He was a really good friend; he tried his best to help me with my

studies. Then I thought it is not fair to depend on someone else for everything. I had to depend on myself and also study on

my own. So I started to pay attention to the teachers so I could understand what they were talking about. Many teachers

helped me to move through this hard time and to learn my English when they saw me trying my best.

I missed my friends and my school in Iraq, but I said to myself, “If you want to be a successful person, you have to move

beyond these feelings and to stay focused on your future.” I cannot change the past, but I can live my present.

After a year of speaking English, meeting people and talking with friends, now I feel more comfortable and am doing well in

my school. So for other people who are new, don’t lose hope because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Also, keep

your eyes upon God.

Mena Sofya, John Cabot SS


Page 11

An inspiring story

Patintida Bouabane, a former student of Holy Name of Mary

Patintida Bouabane was 16 years old when she arrived in Canada in 2011 by herself, with barely any English. She had no

family or relatives except for a distant family acquaintance with whom she lived for some time, until she was forced to

move out to live on her own. She struggled with various barriers and challenges, with no confidant or anybody else to talk

to. She found it hard to adjust to the Canadian way of living and the transition into high school.

Patintida came from Thailand. There were hardly any resources or cultural support available for her that she could connect

to in the GTA. However, she was relieved to know that settlement support at her school was available through the MSEP

(Multicultural, Settlement, Education Partnership) program of Brampton Multicultural Community Centre. The settlement

worker assisted Patintida with her transition into high school, providing resources applicable to her needs and most importantly-support

in all aspects. Due to language barrier, they started communicating by simple yes and no questions alongside a thumbs-up

and/or thumbs down signs to signify if things are going well or not. Patintida was connected to a local homework club and conversation circle to

help her with her school load as well as make new friends. A buddysystem

was also initiated by the settlement worker to ensure that

Patintida is not “lost” in school, has somebody to eat lunch with, and

has the opportunity to practice her English.

Settlement Workers can make a difference for newcomer

students. Necy Dabu made a difference for Patinida.

Throughout the years the settlement worker consistently followed-up with her, witnessing every bit of success and celebrating every one of

them with a simple high-five and a big smile! One year later she received a Recognition Award in ESL, received 98% for a presentation, granted

one of the top marks in her Chemistry class and made the cut for the badminton and basketball teams! Although she still faced challenges

along the way, Patintida did not lose hope. She focused on achieving her goals and doing well in school, making her parents proud.

Patintida is now off to post-secondary, pursuing a course in the medical field. She wants to become a doctor some day, and though she knows it

will be a long road for her to take, she knows it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE, as long as you have determination and persistence.

On June 5,

2015, John

Cabot SS student Segio Raez Villanueva was named Mississauga High School Athlete of the Year at a gala hosted

by the City of Mississauga. Here are highlights from a recent interview with Sergio:

Before moving to Canada, you lived in Peru. How did living in Peru play a part in your interest in


Very early in my childhood, my parents signed me up for lessons in sports like soccer and tennis. I believe it was

that constant exposure to the world of fitness and training that shaped my passion for sports in general. Many

tennis championships, in particular, that I participated in Peru led me to develop such drive and love for competition.

What sports did you get involved in when you began school in Mississauga?

Arriving in Grade 7 at Canadian Martyrs, I quickly participated in track and field and cross-country. I competed at

tennis tournaments outside of school and, at one point, I managed to be ranked top 30 in Ontario. Going into high

school at John Cabot Catholic Secondary School, I continued being involved with athletics, racing in events like

1500m and 3000m. I have been part of the Mississauga Track and Field Club (MTFC) since early in my high school career and it is here where I have

mostly developed my running abilities, along with school coaches and teammates.

How can participating in sports benefit students who are new to Canada?

Right away, you start making new friends! If you have a love to be active, then joining a sport when being new to Canada can quickly help you open

up to others and make the transition much, much easier. If English is not your first language, then teammates and coaches alike that you meet help

you improve your speaking and listening skills as well! Not only do you feel that you belong, but you get in your exercise and make friendships.

In your graduating year at Cabot, in which sports are you involved?

This year, I have been part of the Cross-Country, Tennis, Swimming, Badminton and Track and Field Teams at my school. Regionally, I have been

able to compete in ROPSSAA for most of these sports, placing 1 st in the 7km race in cross-country, and making it to the final rounds in tennis, swimming

and badminton. As well, I earned three gold medals in the 1500m, 3000m, and 2000m Steeple Chase during the track and field season. As for

the entire province, in OFSAA events I represented my school in cross-country and track and field. I placed 22 nd amongst hundreds of runners during

cross-country, and placed 6 th at the 3000m event during track. I also won a silver medal during the 2000m Steeple Chase while racing the best of

the best in the province. I am very grateful that hard work and effort has led to these opportunities and successes.

Next year, you will be studying Life Sciences at McGill. How have sports made you a better student?

The discipline, commitment and constant training required for any sport has definitely shaped who I am today.

Do you have any advice for future high school athletes?

Cabot Student named Mississauga’s Top High School Athlete

To anybody that has a goal athletically, always chase that dream while also putting in the work to reach it. Try new sports, even if you think you

may not be good at first. Only those who see the difference between wishing and doing can then give 100% to succeed.

Rhonda Fox, ESL teacher, John Cabot SS

Page 12 V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2



Diversity Club at Bishop Scalabrini is having a very busy

year with many different activities. The Club promotes

cultural understanding and celebrates Canadian culture

with our newcomer students while carrying out educational

activities throughout the school year.

The club meets once a month and organizes activities such

as trips to Black Creek Pioneer Village, Christmas decorations,

Valentine activities, Cooking Class @ Superstore ,

and Visual Arts Aluminium Embossing. Initiatives like this

one greatly impact the successful integration of newcomer students

into their new environment and allows them to form new friendships,

alleviating newcomer stresses and fostering a sense of belonging. Stay

tuned to hear about more activities to come!

Vanessa Aguirre, settlement worker and

Nancy Brodniewicz , ESL teacher, Bishop Scalabrini


This October, I went apple-picking with

my ESL class. Apple-picking wasn’t the

only activity we engaged in that morning.

We picked apples, we went on a wagonride

around the farm, learned about corn,

pumpkins and other types of crops that

grow on the farm. Afterwards, we were

led to the farm store that was filled with

fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm,

freshly-made pies, tarts, cookies and jars of jams. We really

enjoyed the trip. As a new student to the country, I can say

that it was a fun-filled learning experience and that I’m looking

forward to more such trips in the near future.

Janicce Tibursius Antony,

Ascension of Our Lord SS

Speak up stand up, refuse to ignore

On November 24 th 2015, the students at the Jean

Vanier Advantage Program watched the documentary

“Speak Up Stand Up, Refuse to Ignore.” The documentary

was made by the Newcomer Centre of Peel,

Draw the Line campaign. Its purpose is to open a

dialogue among newcomers to Canada on sexual

violence. It also shows how society views the role of

men, especially the pressure that newcomer men face

as the “breadwinner” or the “provider” of the family.

We ended the session with a group discussion,

and students wrote a reflection

of the documentary.

Let’s speak up to protect the

rights of women!

Do you respect women? Do you need them because you love them? Or, do you love them

because you need them?

Frenze Sanvictores, Jean Vanier Advantage Program

Laura Valencia,

settlement worker

I'm a young adult coming from the Philippines. When I came here, I was clueless about the

endless possibilities awaiting me. The Philippines— the motherland, my country of birth— has

housed my family for more than 16 years of my existence. The culture is diverse and we're

known for our traffic jams, warm welcomes, and great street food. Yes, it's a third-world

country but you don't see us complain. We just smile, make jokes, and pick each other up

despite our problems. We firmly believe that better days are coming, which I believe marks

the difference between my country among others. Living in the Philippines, you'll learn to

smile through adversity because my fellow Filipinos and I have these traits embedded in us:

adaptability and resilience despite adversity. They were put to test when typhoon Haiyan

struck the country, leaving a whole lot of families homeless. Eventually things got better, and

everybody's attention was focused on the victim's resilience and positive spirit which showed

us that we, Filipinos get through adversities and still keep a positive mindset. Whenever a problem comes our way, we think of possibilities to

move on and be strong. However, life in the Philippines is based on more than just smiles and positivity. The country boasts strong family

ties, sacrificing a little more than one's needs and wants just to keep the family off the streets and providing them with a roof to shelter. Life

in the Philippines can drain a lot of your energy and time due to the fast paced days and long traffic jams, but once everything is pieced together,

it makes the hardships and struggles worthwhile. A positive spirit is something I will always bring with me because growing up, despite

all the things my family has been through, I'll always find time to thank God for his blessings and everything he has bestowed my family

with. Young or old, sick or healthy, the radiant and infectious positive attitude that the culture that my beloved has shared with the world

seems to have left a strong impression on everyone.

Gennelle Cruz, St. Joseph SS



Page 13

Source: Forum Research


2015 Statistics on Social Media Usage ILLUSTRATIONS

A 2015 study by Forum Research indicates that Facebook is the top social

network in Canada, followed by LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Instagram

is the top social network in terms of the satisfaction ratings.

LinkedIn and Instagram usage is getting more popular; Facebook and

Twitter growth has leveled off.

by Krystyna Davydyak, Philip Pocock SS

Many people around the world enjoy travelling, me being one of them. It is an enjoyable and also creative way to pass

your leisure time. It enables one to learn ways of life of different countries. The best examples are Africa or India, where

you can see wild animals. You can also enjoy different scenery like Thompson Falls found in Africa.

You also get to know and learn how people live in small or large communities like the Maasai who live in

mannyattas which are houses made of mud and sticks. You will also see that they help and support each other in every

step they take, and you come to the realization that unity is strength. You will also learn their language as you hear

them speak from time to time.

Some countries in the world have wars taking place. As good Samaritans we should come to their aid. One such country

is Somalia where the terrorists are taking over and extending even to the nearby countries like Kenya. Many people

are dying, and we should help as Jesus would have. We also see the different sceneries like the Thompson Falls in Africa. In conclusion,

travelling not only benefits you but it can also benefit others.

Grace Okello, St. Aidan

I love travelling

One of the main purposes of the trip was to

develop our social and/or communicating

skills. Mission accomplished!

Mountsberg Conservation Area Trip

The ESL students from Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School had a field

trip last May 21 st 2015 at Mountsberg Conversation Area in the Milton area with

the students from St. Augustine. Students were all excited to hang-out with their

friends, to meet new people and to enjoy the activities. One of the activities is

called Instincts for Survival Game, where all students assume the roles of herbivores,

omnivores and carnivores in a terrestrial ecosystem. The purpose of the

activity is to help the students learn about the relationships between various

species and their habitat. Food chains, adaptations and habitat requirements

were also explored. During the game, my partner and I assumed to be one of the

species – the raccoon. We chose to be omnivores because they can eat both

plants and animals to survive. The other half of the group, who took the role of

the herbivores, kept on running and trying to avoid the wolf and the omnivores

for their safety and survival. The wolf is the only species that we avoided because they can eat

any species. As the game continued, we felt tired hiding and running around the forest so instead

of playing, we just chose to make friends and to hang out, especially with the other students from St. Augustine.

The most enjoyable part of the trip was during the picnic lunch, where students were sitting, eating and chatting with each other at the

benches beside the lake. Even though I have never seen the St. Augustine students before, it felt like we already knew each other for a

long time. Students had different interests and ideas in what they should do during the rest of the time: dancing in the hot weather, chatting,

laughing, and taking pictures with their old and new friends. We had fun making unforgettable memories with our peers. Socializing is

learning how to treat other people. It can lead to good friendships and relationships, as one exerts effort in understanding and knowing

someone who came from a different culture and has a different perspective.

Venice Cal Mari and Cez Comia, Cardinal Ambrozic SS

“Go to the place you’ve never been before”. – Dalai Lama


Page 14


Ascension of Our Lord SS trips are fun!

Ascension of Our Lord is

one of the greatest schools

out there because it gives

students the opportunity

to learn about Canadian

culture. An example would

be the day that the ESL

class went on a trip to the

Hockey Hall of Fame. It

was fun from the beginning

to end, as many girls

and boys participated in

the activities and enjoyed

the experience of a hockey player’s life.

There was a movie theatre where they played the game for the

Stanley Cup. We also got to see the Stanley Cup itself where all the students got to observe it up closely and took pictures with it. The day

was full of joy and a lot of enthusiastic faces, all thanks to the Ascension staff who took us on this amazing field trip.

Aislinn Rodriguez, Ascension of Our Lord SS

I had an amazing experience at the Diwali festival at the Hindu temple Mandir in Toronto. I learned so much about the Hindu culture.

There are five days of the festival; each day has a different name.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is really

cool. I would personally recommend to

others to visit the Mandir, and I would

definitely go again. They taught us

about how inside the temple you are

not allowed to wear shoes, use any

type of video recording devices, or take

any pictures whatsoever. The temple is

completely carved out of a really, really

giant rock. Looking forward to going


Daniel Morillo, John Cabot SS


Page 15

Multi-faith calendar

January—April 2015


November 1

November 2

November 3

November 6

November 11

November 30

December 8

December 17

December 25

January 3

January 6

January 7

January 14

February 2

February 18

February 19

All Saints Day (Christian)

All Souls Day (Christian)

Ashura (Muslim)

Guru Nanak (Sikhism)

Diwali (Hindu)

Advent begins (Christian, Julian calendar)

Immaculate Conception (Christian, Julian calendar)

Hanukkah (Judaism)

Christmas (Christian, Julian calendar)

Milad ul Nabi (Muslim)

Epiphany (Christian, Julian calendar)

Christmas (Christian, Gregorian calendar)

Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

Candlemas (Christian, Julian calendar)

Ash Wednesday (Christian, Julian calendar)

Chinese New Year (Confucian/Buddhist)


Have you thought of leaving the ones you love the most? Going far

away to a place where you don’t want to be, but you have to be, and

leaving people who matter, people who you had planned out a lot?

Because of circumstances and better future, you just leave without

saying goodbye. This is exactly what happened to me.

I was a young boy who thought life was okay for me at the school I

went to. I had friends who cared, people who liked me and people that

I studied, played, cracked jokes and did almost everything with. It was

a boarding school in Nigeria where we saw each other almost all the

time and had fun. I lived with people of different cultures and tribes,

ate different cuisines I wasn’t at all used to, and learnt a way of life

different from the one I was used to back home. But little did I know

that all this was about to change.

In my country, after grade 9 national exams, we have a few months to

go back home and rest from the stress of the exams before summer

started. This was no exception for me so I went home happily, hoping

to come back the next session and see my friends. Each day I spoke to

them with hope and intention that I was going back. More days went

past and I was eager for the new session to start.

Newsletter Team

EDITOR and GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Vesna Nikolic Logo: Martina Phuong

ADVISORY PANEL: Rose Asta, Anne Kecskes, Joanna Kubica, Lisa Melo

SUBMISSIONS: via email to; via fax 905 361-2345

NOTE: Authenticity of ELLs’ work will be honoured by publishing it with minimal editing.

My expectations came crashing down when my dad called me one cold

evening about a week before the session started and told me that I

wasn’t going back to the school because of the security issues in the

country. I was sad and angry.

I eventually started new school and made a

few friends. I hope I will not have to leave

them this time around.

Mokutima Nyong, Loyola SS

Actually, I can.


“Dialogue is born from an attitude

of respect for the other

person, from the conviction

that the other person has

something good to say. It assumes

that there is room in the heart for a person’s point

of view, opinion and proposal. To dialogue entails a cordial

reception, not a prior condemnation. In order to dialogue,

it is necessary to know how to lower the defences, open

the doors of the house, and offer human warmth.”

Pope Francis

(in 2011, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio)

“I believe we are here to contribute love to the planet—

each of us in our own way.”

Dr. Bernie Siegel

Illustration by Vanessa Vasudevan,

St. Veronica

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