Winning advice for 2024!

A few of our Top 25 Canadian Immigrants from 2023 share their thoughts, wisdom and some inspirational advice with you as we take on 2024!

Sobhana Jaya-Madhavan
Associate vice president, external relations, Simon Fraser University
Firstly, remember to treat life as an adventure; enjoy the journey and don’t be overly worried about the final destination. Secondly, I think health is wealth. No matter what we’re doing, it’s important to pay attention to our physical and mental health. Reach out to people when you are struggling and take help if you need it. And last, but not the least, I really believe that when one is positive and optimistic, and one approaches everything with a sense of gratitude, it really changes the experience for the better.
City: Burnaby, B.C.; Country of Origin: India

Hénoc Muamba
Football player
Try new things. Don’t let fear or the fear of failure stop you from trying something that you haven’t done before. One of the things that fear does is it paralyzes you and it stops you. Try new things; go ahead and step forward. My goals for me and my family are to always continue to grow personally, individually, professionally in every area and aspect, and try to keep each other accountable in doing so.
City: Toronto, Ontario; Country of Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo

Hanen Nanaa
Social entrepreneur, youth leader and founder of BAM Collective
I have come to realize that prioritizing self-care and health is essential for success. Instead of rushing into the new year, I’m taking a moment to slow down, reflect on my values and align my goals accordingly. I understand that challenges are inevitable in both my career and life and could potentially impact my passion projects and goals. However, just as I’ve always done, I choose to embrace these challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. It’s in overcoming challenges and learning from mistakes that we truly excel and evolve, and I encourage you to do the same.
City: Toronto, Ontario; Country of Origin: Syria

Mustafa Popalzai
Police officer
Hope is a very powerful word! In fact, the world revolves around hope. As a former refugee and a current police officer with the Toronto Police Service, my main message to the newcomers in Canada is to continue to have hope that things will get better with time and that your future can be bright with hard work and persistence! Help anyone and everyone in anyway you can.
City: Toronto, Ontario; Country of Origin: Afghanistan

Winston Sayson
Retired trial Crown Counsel, community volunteer
I believe five elements will help contribute to the successful integration into a new life in Canada. English (or French if you’re in Quebec), education, employment, engagement with your community and excellence. We really need to embrace the multitude of opportunities that Canada offers us by cultivating an open mind and heart and have a genuine curiosity and fascination about the new country. And when we accept that things are going to be different from the home country, it will help the adaptation and the integration into Canada.
City: Richmond, B.C.; Country of Origin: Philippines

Cindy Sinclair
Academic faculty, University of Toronto; founder, Sinclair Consulting Services
Mentoring is powerful. It helps build networks and confidence for smoother integration. As a young newcomer to Canada, I did not know where or how to start my life. With personal creative exploration and support from helpful Canadians, I received my first entry-level job as a clerk typist. Today, with a PhD degree, it is extremely gratifying to be a mentor and help shape the lives of students and immigrants. I encourage newcomers to seek out a mentor. If one person is not available, keep searching. You will find someone willing to take you and help guide you along.
City: Toronto, Ontario; Country of Origin: Guyana

Beili Wong
Comptroller General of Ontario
Our journey as immigrants has instilled in us resilience, determination and power of embracing opportunities. My advice to new immigrants is to be ambitious and courageous with your pursuit of success and happiness in Canada. I encourage you to continue your passion for learning – set goals and take actions. Lastly, remember to give back, pay it forward and make a positive impact on others! Together, let’s build communities that value diversity, inclusion and belonging.
City: Toronto, Ontario; Country of Origin: China

– Canadian Immigrant

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