I was having a cup of tea with the mother of a seven year old when she said that her child’s teacher had mentioned that he should be a medical doctor because he was a sweet, smart and very interested in the well-being of others. I said that would be fantastic, to which the proud mother added:
“Good luck with that because Canadian universities prefer females and non-Caucasian kids or immigrants”.
I was shocked by that comment because:
- I felt that she was already making excuses by blaming the sex of her child and the immigrants in case 12 to 16 years into the future, her son in did not make it into medical school, or wherever career he chooses, instead of helping him to work harder to get there so he could succeed in a highly competitive world.
- I am an immigrant who created AZ World Translation from scratch and has volunteered since my arrival to Canada. I am proud to have received one of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards for 2015, and I think it totally not fair to say that immigrants are taking the place in Universities of Canadian born kids instead of saying that they were not accepted.
I want to share my experience with two immigrant families that have moved to my neighbourhood.
Three years ago, a Mexican family moved in next door with 3 young, smart girls. One girl not only received the Grade 12 Arts Award from her local high school, but she also received the Grade 12 English Award in only her second year of learning English. After graduation, she was accepted into one of the top Art programmes in Canada. Her two sisters are also both doing great at their schools too.
A year later, another family of immigrants moved into the neighbourhood two blocks away. The oldest girl went into grade 11 where she achieved an average grade of 93% in her first year of high school in Canada. This year, in the first semester of grade 12, she obtained an average grade of 97%. On top of that, she is attending the Culinary Art program at a local college every day after school, except one day a month. Each Saturday and Sunday, she works unpaid in a local high-end restaurant as part of her course practicum. If you thought that is enough, you are wrong; the one day a month she has free, she volunteers serving food in a soup kitchen on Vancouver’s East side. She wants to be a medical doctor.
I recently read a report that there are 45 million people who either have filed applications or would like to immigrate to Canada; this means that the competition is only going to become even harder/more fierce at all levels.
If I have to choose who is going to be my doctor when I am sick, chances are that I will chose my neighbour because they or their parents were not making excuses for her to reach the top.
Who would you choose?