Michael Ghebregiorgis - Volunteer of the Month for March 2020
Please join us in congratulating Michael Ghebregiorgis for being chosen as Immigrant Services Calgary's Volunteer of the Month for March 2020! Michael started as a volunteer in January 2019 shortly after arriving in Canada, and since then he has filled a variety of specialized volunteer roles that have made a big impact for our clients. Michael started out with community volunteering, working with our community partners and during special events. He then began using his skills as a volunteer Tigrinya and Amharic interpreter during counselling sessions here at Immigrant Services Calgary, helping our clients communicate clearly during these meetings. He has also assisted Immigrant Services Calgary in hosting some workshops and events, filling a number of roles to make sure each event was a success. We really value volunteers like Michael who use their diverse set of talents to give back to the immigrant community.
Here is Michael’s story in his own words.
My name is Michael Ghebregiorgis, born and raised in Eritrea. I have a bachelor's degree in Accounting and worked as a bookkeeper and accountant in Eritrean and Uganda for six plus years. I am enrolled in the Canadian Business Essentials for Accountants program at the Centre for Newcomers in partnership with SAIT college, upgrading my accounting knowledge and working towards my CPA designation. Currently, as part of the program, I am doing my practicum working as an accountant at Aneth Sanchez Professional Corporation in Calgary.
I like to read, go on group trips and visit historical places, do community service and play and watch soccer.
I immigrated to Canada at the end of 2018 with my family and started a new life in Calgary. When I arrived in Calgary, I participated in many workshops and information sessions about life in Canada, job search and other valuable networking events hosted by Immigrant Services Calgary. From these events, I got an opportunity to network with people in my specialized career and meet people, especially immigrants, from Eritrea and Ethiopia who needed help to communicate in English. This drives me to help those immigrants who are unable to communicate and express their desires in English. With this in mind, I started to volunteer as an interpreter and translator for both Tigrinya and Amharic languages to help those immigrants in January 2019. In addition to that, I became involved in volunteering at Inn from the Cold and the Mustard Seed, preparing bagged food for homeless kids and adults, and sorted bundles of clothing and organized winter clothes into their appropriate shelving units for homeless residents. This gives me life satisfaction, a natural sense of accomplishment and a feeling of self-confidence when I volunteer and do the above duties.
I am also volunteering to assist ISC staff in workshops, networking events and ceremonies hosted by ISC. Apart from the self-satisfaction I get from helping the community, by volunteering at ISC, I have an opportunity to meet new people, gain experience and develop valuable job skills and network with experts in my occupation. It’s a great experience for me as a newcomer and has helped me to adapt to life in Canada.
I would like to say thank you to ISC for giving me this opportunity to help and support new immigrants and for myself to integrate effortlessly and take advantage of opportunities in my professional career.
Thank you Michael for supporting the Immigrant Services Calgary Volunteer program, and your hard work and dedication. Here is what a few of our staff had to say about Michael.
“The first time I reached out to Michael was in early January of this year. I was having a hard time finding a volunteer because of the holiday season. Michael responded to my request right away. Ever since then, he’s been helping out with our Smart Tips Video Series by reviewing video descriptions and promotional materials. Always reliable and ready to volunteer, Michael has demonstrated high levels of commitment and professionalism. I cannot be more grateful for having him on the team!”
-Lisa Yi Cai, Community Programs Developer
Michael volunteered for The Literacy and Volunteering Program and currently helps by providing interpretation in our Men’s Program. Michael would take initiative to help other classmates, such as explaining concepts to others while the teacher was preoccupied helping other students. Michael also served as a wonderful role model for the class as he demonstrated how it is possible for newcomers to successfully integrate into Canada. Michael is always willing and motivated to participate in activities that involve helping others. It was a pleasure to work alongside with Michael as he was always committed to doing his best.
-Faraz Khan, Crisis Counsellor and Men’s Program Counsellor