The Story of Launchpad New Immigrant Society

As an owner of an urban factory, I employ a lot of immigrants. I appreciate greatly their contribution…

The Story of Launchpad

by Matt Pierrot

As an owner of an urban factory, I employ a lot of immigrants. I appreciate greatly their contribution to my company, but they are vastly overqualified for their jobs. Lawyers are putting shirts in boxes, and teachers with masters degrees are doing my shipping. Our city is full of these highly-skilled professional immigrants working at low-paying, low-skilled jobs living hand-to-mouth, depleting their savings, going deeper into dept, disconnected and depressed. It is not uncommon to hear them question their decision to come to Canada.

Launchpad was born out of my connection with these people and hearing their stories. 

This year, Kaethe Wright and I, along with the help of Greg Foster, Ralph Bromley and great partnerships with the Harvest and Hope for the Nations, have succeeded in helping five highly skilled new immigrants who were stuck in a cycle of poverty pursue their re-certifications to practice their professional vocations in Canada.  This December, Tiago will be our first graduate. After five years of struggling in his new country, and actually giving up at one point, he will complete the journey from being lawyer in Brazil, to hotel concierge in Canada, back to lawyer, this time in Canada!  We are very proud of him.

Our future hope is that our little organization will be completely funded by our alumni. We are very clear that the support we provide is a gift, but we want them to pay it forward. New arrivals helping new arrivals sounds like great little community to me.  In the meantime, we need some funds to get the ball rolling.  It is our annual goal to help at least four skilled immigrants, who were stuck in a cycle of poverty,  graduate with professional status in Canada. Would you like to help us do that?