Meet Elena and Namgyal, our Skills for Change Co-op Students


Namgyal (left) and Elena, hard at work.

We recently partnered with Skills for Change, bringing on two fantastic co-op students. Skills for Change is non-profit organization providing learning and training opportunities to immigrants and refugees. We're so happy to have Elena and Namgyal with us, and we'd like you to meet them.

Arriving in Canada was a mixture of challenges and opportunities. The career I held back home and the experiences procured there were not enough to land myself a satisfying job. Thanks to the great many programs the Canadian government employs to train new immigrants, I came across “Skills for Change” which served as the very first stepping stone to building a new career for me on the foundation of wealth of experience that I inherited.

I enrolled in Finance and Office Assistant Certificate Program, which proved to be an everlasting experience. I exposed myself to people of diverse backgrounds striving for the same purpose of getting integrated into the Canadian way of life, learning skills and etiquette that are essential for the contemporary Canadian job market and building a professional network.

On completion the program, I was fortunately availed the opportunity to do co-op at “Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.” The welcoming atmosphere at the office has not only boosted my self-confidence but also offered a friendly environment to learn and explore the essence of working as a team. It is for the time spent at the Greenbelt Foundation that my passion for working with a company that touches people’s lives has intensified, and my understanding of what Canada stands for has been redefined.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation for the most welcoming environment and for making me feel at home.

- Namgyal is from Tibet


As a mandatory part of the professional course “Finance and Office Assistance Program” launched by Skills for Change, I have been provided with a learning and training opportunity within the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.

During these 6 weeks of my job placement, I have been putting my knowledge and skills into practice assisting the Office Manager with handling day-to-day office tasks and procedures. Every day I have been encountering new challenges to overcome which have enhanced my relevant skills and increased my worth to employers. I have been learning the important basics of office and information management, telecommunications, mail processing and bookkeeping. The new environment has enabled me to work closely with each member of dedicated team and become familiar with the major activities toward mission and vision of the organization.

Through the learning process I have become interested in environmental issues and developing Ontario’s Greenbelt as a vital part of our province. I am sure that this experience will affect my further career path in the very positive way.

Thank you Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation for your fascinating and unforgettable journey!

– Elena is from Russia

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