Dufferin - Peel Catholic District School Board
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
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
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
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
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
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
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 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
DID YOU KNOW?
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
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
St. Francis Xavier SS: CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS
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
NEWCOMERS RUN FOR
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
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
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
“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: http://acamm2015.com/country.php?nation=4
ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA STUDENTS VISITED PIONEER VILLAGE
HERE IS HOW THEY SPENT THEIR TIME AT PIONEER VILLAGE
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.
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.
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.
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
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 www.africaranking.com/most-beautiful-buildings-in-africa 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
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AFRICA
Page 5 V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
What a fun trip!!!!
at DOWNEY’S FARM
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
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
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.
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
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
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.
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
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
I LOVE THIS PLACE!
MY ROLE MODEL:
role model, Stephen
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
Paul Vincent Cantero, Philip Pocock SS
I LOVE COMPUTERS!
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
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
FRIENDSHIP WITHOUT BORDERS
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
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
Jess Aguas, settlement worker
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
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
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?
NEWCOMER STUDENT STORIES
EVERYHTING IS POSSIBLE
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
a language barrier.
to assist these
this new, and
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
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
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
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,
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
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
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
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
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
DIWALI FESTIVAL TRIP
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
V OLU ME 6, ISS UE 2
All Saints Day (Christian)
All Souls Day (Christian)
Guru Nanak (Sikhism)
Advent begins (Christian, Julian calendar)
Immaculate Conception (Christian, Julian calendar)
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)
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
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.
EDITOR and GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Vesna Nikolic Logo: Martina Phuong
ADVISORY PANEL: Rose Asta, Anne Kecskes, Joanna Kubica, Lisa Melo
SUBMISSIONS: via email to Vesna.firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.”
(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,