Shelly is a skilled relationship and team builder, a strong communicator and creative thinker who brings over 15 years of leadership experience in the private and nonprofit sectors. She holds an international MBA and possesses a solid background in finance, information technology and human resources, as well as a sensitive understanding of newcomer issues.
Born in Guyana, South America, Shelly is a second generation immigrant who co-founded the Pink Slip Party in Toronto, a nonprofit initiative that provided support and networking opportunities for people during the 2008 recession. Shelly completed an Adult Learning and Development Certificate at OISE, and has extensive experience in coaching and mentoring.
Senior Manager of Administration
Loida is from Colombia and had always worked in the private sector, however, being in Canada gave her the opportunity to not only work in a non-profit organization, but to help newcomers. She can combine her passion for numbers and people in her role as a Finance Manager and Human Resources Administrator.
She believes in leading by an example for this reason she is always committed in doing her very best.
Senior Manager of Adult Education
A member of the Mennonite New Life Centre’s leadership team, Tracy uses her extensive network of community and business connections to develop partnerships that enhance the Centre’s programs and services, and she promotes these initiatives to stakeholders at all levels through print and social media campaigns.
Tracy is also a TESOL Ontario certified instructor and has been a Communications Instructor for the Bridge Training Program for Internationally Trained Mental Health Professionals at the Centre, and an OSLT (Occupation Specific Language Training) professor at Sheridan College.
In her free time, Tracy plays ultimate frisbee and is chair of the Toronto Ultimate Club’s Women’s Committee, which aims to promote the inclusivity of women in ultimate.
Settlement Program Manager
Mental Health Program Manager
Leticia is part of the team at Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto since 2009.
Her work as Settlement Wellness Worker and Community Mental Health Coordinator enhances a liaison between the settlement and the mental health counsellors working at the centre.
Fluent in Spanish and English, Leticia provides settlement and emotional counselling to newcomers and refugees dealing with migratory grief, depression, family intervention, and PTSD. Among her many qualities, Leticia also tops as a high-skilled group facilitator, with a keen passion to deliver engaging psycho-educational workshops in the community.
Leticia held a degree in Psychology from Havana University in Cuba, obtained in 1986. After graduation, she worked at the 10 de Octubre Hospital in Havana as a supervisor of the Clinical Psychology Department until 2005, providing supervision and training to Mental Health team members. Her experience involves the facilitation of mental health services to individuals, couples, and families facing issues related to trauma, anxiety, and mood disorders.
BEMC Program Manager
Gerard is an Armenian-Canadian media professional who emigrated from Dubai, UAE with over 15 years of media and journalistic experience. Upon arriving in Toronto, Canada he expected to transfer his vast knowledge and experience in media and communications easily to the Canadian job market. Multiple barriers to entry, including being told that “media is one of the most difficult areas to break into for immigrants”, did not prevent Gerard from thinking creatively and learning to navigate a very convoluted system of players in the media sector.
As a skilled networker, Gerard embarked upon finding other immigrant journalist and media professionals. He created a new professional immigrant network (PIN), called New Canadian Media Professionals Network (NCMP), for the internationally-trained where the focus was on sharing knowledge and experiential learning. In recent years he created New Horizons Media, a for-profit business with a social mission to depict honestly the journeys of newcomers and immigrants to Canada. Using New Horizons Media as the vehicle to engage NCMP members, they have worked on over 21 projects, produced over 100 video clips, and have gained the trust and business of immigrant serving agencies such as OCASI, TRIEC, and Magnet.
BREM Program Manager
After coming from Colombia, Alexandra has been working with other immigrants since she landed in Canada. Being an immigrant herself, she enjoys helping and supporting others in the settlement process in this new home land. She was a client of the Mennonite New Life Centre few years back and now, she’s being part of the staff for the past 3 years.
LINC Program Manager and LIGHTS project support
Jorge’s drive, passion, and creative mind have been behind the success of the MNLCT since 1990 and LINC program since 1995.
As a real morning person, Hugo is efficient, organized and systematic. He has been in charge of the administrative chores since 2012.
Outreach & Partnerships Coordinator
When Merly arrived in Canada from her native Colombia 21 years ago, she experienced many obstacles to find employment due to lack of language and Canadian work experience. She went to Humber college where she obtained a diploma in Social Service Work and later on moved to Nova Scotia where she worked as a program coordinator for a college and completed her Master's of Higher Education. As a newcomer at an early stage in her career Merly understood the many obstacles new Immigrants experience in Canada and this motivated her to work more efficiently and holistically with immigrants. She has developed a passion for helping new immigrants find their path in Canada either by upgrading their education or by obtaining the required certification.
Settlement and Integration Coordinator
Saul Olmos is a settlement worker who is currently working to meet the varied needs of new permanent residents in Canada. He previously worked with refugee claimants at the MNLCT and has experience with labour rights, women’s rights and food security issues.
Saul also has experience in popular education, both through multimedia presentations and in writing, and he delivers the MNLCT’s citizenship test training workshops.
Saul is a registered Social Services Worker and holds a diploma in Community Work from George Brown College, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration. He speaks English and Spanish, and is Dad to two young trilingual children. Saul’s happiest moments on the job are when he hears back from past clients and families about practical ways in which he has contributed to their settlement journey.
Coming from a multi-cultural and multi-barrier family, Aleena understands the hardships and struggles that newcomers to Canada may face which as a result has influenced her passion for assisting newcomers with their transition to Canadian society. Her education in Social Work has been a driving force behind her advocacy for securing fundamental human rights for all individuals on a national and international scale.
Playful by nature, Betty develops newcomer children abilities with a program of craft, exercise, and educational games.
Client Reception & Intake Worker
Caring and compassionate, Carolina has been greeting MNLCT’s clients at our North York location for years. She is also the heart and brain behind the Spanish-English interpreter and translation services.
Dazuly is our Accounting Clerk. She is also the most welcoming and warm person you will ever find behind a reception desk!
Eduardo-Edu- is our resident Spaniard. After travelling half of the world and living in 6 countries, he realised he needed to help other people finding their feet after landing in a new place. He knows finding someone willing to help, with a friendly attitude and a broad smile goes a long way. And that's what he tries to do at our reception in Keele.
Mental Health and Employment Coach
Estrella is a Registered Psychotherapist with a Master’s degree in Systemic Brief Psychotherapy, and a B.A. in Psychology. Estrella is a Professional Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).
Mental Health Counsellor, HOPES Program
Ines Anderson is a Clinical Social Worker and a Lacanian Psychoanalyst originally from Venezuela. She also holds Master degrees in Social Work and Computer Science from Barry University (Florida) and McGill University (Montreal), respectively, and taught at Community Service Work Diploma programs in two career colleges for three years.
Beyond academics, Ines has over 20 years of combined experience designing and facilitating workshops, facilitating groups, and coaching, training and empowering individuals, couples, and families to manage their challenges. She is a member of the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAPOL) and La Nueva Escuela Lacaniana (NEL).
Ines has lived in Toronto since 2000 and is currently a mental health counsellor with the HOPES (Helping Our Newcomers Prepare for Employment Success) Program at the MNLCT.
Jacky is a passionate and creative member of the Outreach Team. He is currently a 4th year York University student specializing in healthcare management. Born as a Second Generation Immigrant Canadian, he understands the hardships, and difficulties newcomers may encounter when they first arrive to their new home. He values the importance of a socially included and diverse community where everyone is welcome.
Jacky is also currently a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders and plans to complete the Certified Health Executive designate. He has a few years of volunteer/co-op experience in the healthcare sector, working with many allied health professionals in the industry.
His interests focus on how technology can be used to improve ones daily life.
Lingling holds a Hon. BA in Social Sciences from the University of Toronto. After graduation, she joined the Mennonite New Life Centre in 2009. She has worked in different areas of the settlement sector, from settlement counselling and employment support to Chinese senior group facilitation and volunteer management.
This extensive professional experience brings her more knowledge and sensitivity in helping immigrants. As an immigrant herself, she feels walking with newcomers like walking with ourselves.
Facilitator, HOPES Program
Lourdes studied Solution Focused Counselling at the University of Toronto and Development Administration at Australian National University, and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
Lourdes is a global student, experienced in government and non-profit, community development settings. She takes pride in sharing her values on life long learning through continuing education and networking – the keys to staying relevant in any field.
Marie is a skilled Language Instructor who has been working in the LINC field for over 9 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Harp Performance and a TESL Certificate from Seneca College. She has a strong background in teaching both children and adults in the areas of music and ESL. Born in Toronto, she plays both piano and harp, as she began learning these instruments at the age of 6. Alongside performing at concerts and many functions, she continues to hold her main career in English as a Second Language and enjoys working with newcomers in many different areas of their settlement in Canada.
Settlement Wellness Worker, Counter Human Trafficking Counsellor
Natalia is an internationally trained in psychology from Uruguay and a social service worker with a progressive and holistic mindset and a strong belief in advocacy and community engagement as a powerful tool to promote and achieve social change.
Natalia started building her career working as a wellness worker providing one on one counselling to newcomers and refugees and supporting high needs families and children with parenting skills to improve family dynamics.
Natalia’s background in psychology has provided her with a better understanding of trauma and its connections to mental health but becoming a social service worker expanded her perspective and boosted her passion to assist clients in overcoming systemic barriers and improving the conditions to develop their full potential.
She holds a strong belief in the power of social participation and connectedness. In this respect, she has been involved in several community projects such as the Shoe Project, the Bike Host program, and the NEAT program, all initiatives that bring people from different ethnic and cultural background together.
Nathaly Blanco is a Social Service Worker specialized on supporting newcomers and refugees throughout their immigration process. She is originally from Venezuela and holds a background as Journalist.
Since 2011 Nathaly has been working and volunteering in several national and international organizations assisting the immigrant population. She strives for social inclusion, immigrants empowerment, and the equitable access of services and resources for all the members of the community.
Nathaly enjoys listening actively other people histories, she is respectful of other perspectives, and she focuses on the strengths and learning aspects of every person and situation. Additionally, Nathaly is the Coordinator of the Spanish Seniors Group and loves working as a Settlement Worker to provide newcomers the services they are entitled to.
Web Developer and User Support Coordinator
Negar is an information technology graduate. Technology has always been an amusing world for her but learning about how it can solve real life problems made here to peruse a career in tech world. She joint MLCT IT team to improve and develop and support BREM program at Mennonite New Life Centre.
Her best assets are her creativity, her feeling with technology and her passion. Her goal is to make computing as user-friendly as possible for the team. She is always learning about new gadgets and technologies and wondering how she can migrate them to the organization system.
Romina is a spontaneous and dynamic member of the Settlement Team. Graduated with honors from George Brown College and a current Social Work student at York University, in addition to more than 5 years of experience in the sector, Romina can identify clients’ needs, welcome and support immigrants and refugees moving into or residing in the area, providing with accurate information and excellent referral services.
Her experience as a Settlement Worker at various organizations in the past has enabled Romina to acquire sound assessment and knowledge of community resources and services. Romina is a strong and insightful counselor, well able to see both the big picture and the impacts on the individual. Her commitment to learning all she could to better support newcomers in navigating Canada’s systems and culture is palpable
She a passionate justice seeker and a voice for the vulnerable at the time of bridging communication between Clients and the Service Sector in Canada
Sharon earned her TESL Certification at the University of Toronto. She has been teaching literacy classes at Mennonite New Life Centre for more than eight years, and since 2012 she also teaches to our Level 1 & 2 students.
Sharon has a special talent for languages, she masters Chinese, English and Japanese, and when she is not teaching English as a second language, she may probably be reading, cooking, gardening, walking, playing Taichi boxing, or listening to classical music.
Educational & Placement Counsellor
A professional and dedicated employment advisor, specializing in job search facilitation including resume development, interview preparation, job search training techniques, self-marketing and job retention. Described as having an authentic approach with a strong capacity to work effectively with a variety of individuals. Skilled at providing resources and supports to clients struggling with unemployment, poverty and isolation.
Youth Community Animator
Sujoy is an enthusiastic marketing professional with 10 years work experience in the field of Outdoor Communication and Branding (Market Communication, Outdoor Advertising, and Business Development). He has experience in various marketing levels, customer care abilities, and interpersonal skills. In addition, he has expertise in Brand Innovation, OOH Branding, planning and implementing brand communication strategy and maintaining all types of ATL and BTL communication.
Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sujoy completed the bachelor degree in Marketing in 2007 from City University.
Also, he has good computer skills like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office Suite/365 office, Video Editing, Adobe Lightroom, Computer Security and Maintenance. Completed Dual Diploma in Computer Graphics Design.
LINC Head Teacher
An actress by training and a teacher by calling, Teresa invests much of her creativity in helping LINC students learn English and thrive.
Vijeyasothy (Viji) Rajeswaran
Vijeyasothy (Viji) Rajeswaran is part of the Care for Newcomer Children Staff at Mennonite New Life Centre.
She completed a diploma in Early Childhood Education at Mothercraft College. She decided to pursue this role because working with children inspires her and fills each day with laughter and joy.
Her goal is to create a positive learning environment that encourages growth and development in newcomer children.
Zahraa is an Arabic speaking settlement worker. She is also a Social Science student at York University. As a new comer to Canada, she has volunteered at a community centre where she has learned a lot and put her first steps in working with new comers, who she shared the same needs with, in addition to working with seniors. She had another relevant experience in working with seniors after completing her Pharmacy Assistance diploma and had her internship at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Because she has always believed that she carries responsibility to improve her society and help others overcome the difficulties they face everyday, she found herself passionate about working with newcomers and giving them hand to settle in Canada.
She immigrated to Canada in 2009, so she recently went through all the settlement process, and she understands how challenging it could be to integrate in a totally new social and economic system.
The MNLCT strives to support newcomers by providing meaningful work experience with the help of grants or other short-term funding programs.
We are pleased to have the following staff currently on board:
Volunteers & Students
Volunteers & Students
The Centre is grateful for the support of our dedicated volunteers and placement students, who contribute their skills and experience in areas throughout the organization:
- Reception & Administration
- Language Interpretation
- Outreach & Fundraising
- Programs & Services, including LINC, Settlement, and Community Mental Health
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join our volunteer team.
Our Current Placement Students:
Gaelle Seguin, email@example.com
Mental Health Placement Students
Each year, we are lucky to have several mental health placement students that work with the Community Mental Health Program.
Our current placement students are:
Veronica Torres (Supporting Family Connection Program)
Estrella Martinez (Supporting Family Connection Program)