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HOPES Program (Helping Our Newcomers Prepare for Employment Success)

Next cohort will start at the end of January 2023

Do you feel discouraged & confused about your career development, and employment prospects in Canada?

Building Strengths for Work is a workshop that provides emotional support to newcomers struggling with stress or trauma, and promotes resilience, strength, and well-being at the individual and community level. We work in partnership with community groups to make services available to all newcomers.

What will you learn?

This unique employment program will help you:

  • Redefine your career, employment goals and/or explore entrepreneurship options within a new cultural context and take your first steps forward!
  • Take advantage of ongoing counselling and support from employment agencies and programs.
  • Integrate successfully into the workforce.

How does HOPES work?

Designed especially for newcomers, the program runs for eight weeks and flows through 3 phases:


Manage Culture Shock and Know Yourself

  • Learn to recognize signs of confusion, disorientation, and unease to better adjust to your new surroundings.
  • Discover how you manage transitions and identify personal qualities to support adapting to changing circumstances.

Decrease Stress and Increase Hope

  • Develop emotional and behavioural strategies to address stressors and develop a positive outlook on challenges ahead.


Clarify your Goals

  • Redefine your employment goals based on your strengths & talents, and identify barriers & areas for further development. Understand your values & beliefs, & identify your ideal work environment.

Design your Action Plan

  • Learn planning strategies & identify resources to implement your plan for successful integration in the Ontario economy toward employment and financial security.


Make Community Connections

  • Get support to continue with your job plan. Be referred to organizations & programs in the community that can help you advance toward employment.

Stay Focused

  • Take advantage of continued career advice & emotional support to stay motivated and execute your action plan.

Who is eligible?

This program will benefit newcomers who:

  • Are struggling to find employment appropriate to their education, skills, and experience; or want to develop their own business
  • Need individual support to cope with stress
  • Are looking for personal and organizational connections within the community
  • Have job-ready English communication skills (CLB 5 +)
  • Are able to commit time to each component of the program to work towards their goals
  • Are permanent resident or conventional refugee

Workshops are limited to 20 participants



Please contact:

  • RP. Marla Marquez
    647-776-2057 ext. 5214
  • Luisa Bayona
    647-776-2057 ext. 5284


 “The first time I was suggested to think about a career change I felt really mad! After this experience, I can see that change might be an opportunity to growth”
– Michelle, participant

“This program gave me the drive to make a decision. It’s been a while that I’m thinking in studying. After this program I made an advance and talked to someone and I’m thinking in changing my schedule at work”
– Luis, participant

“During the last months I have been feeling sad and angry without any apparent reason. After learning the transition process, I can understand better myself and my ups and downs”
– Karina, participant

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Please be aware that limited in-person appointments are available on Tuesdays & Thursdays in our Keele office and on Wednesdays in the Finch office. Also, we continue to offer services via phone, email and online.