A young community organizer once told me, “Academics could change the world if they’d only stop talking to their peers.”
He explained that sometimes, academics create policy recommendations but only present them at academic conferences; that academics create reports and books but don’t impact any change in the community; that after academics survey people, they never share any of their findings with them.
With his words in mind, we’re proud to say that we are not those academics.
After surveying 343 Halton Pinoy parents and students, we had two evening events at St. Thomas Aquinas and Jean Vanier to celebrate our heritage, to thank our research participants, and most importantly, to share our findings with the community.
After passing out copious amounts of fresh lechon, rice, leche flan, and bibingka, our community partners presented the various programs that are available in the Halton Region, from bridging programs for internationally-trained professionals to apprenticeship programs for youth.
In our survey, parents said that they wanted to know more about these things, so Carm Condo assembled the absolute right people to present.
And of course, there was plenty of time to socialize and meet new friends. With some families who had just arrived in Halton in the last few weeks, it was a great opportunity to get to know their new community.
Filipinos have been the top immigrant group in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014, and our numbers are only getting higher.
In the auditorium, Don Wells explained who we had surveyed, and what they all had in common. Parents were really surprised that 48% of the Halton Pinoy youth arrived through the Live-in Caregiver Program.
Halton is one of the richest areas in Canada. Philip Kelly explained that in Halton, the average household income is $119,403, but for the average Halton Pinoy who came to Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program, their mean household income is $41,000.
We played a game called the 47% Card Game. When we asked the parents what job they thought their child would be in the future, only 47% of their survey answers matched with the students. So we passed out cards to each parent and student, and asked them the same question. Students: “What job do you hope to have in the future?” and Parents: “What job do you hope your child will have in the future?”
The winners of the game! We had an aspiring doctor in our midst. Students teased their parents as the most common answers were revealed: Nurse, Accountant, and Engineer.
Finally, Jon Esteban and his brother Ron gave some important advice to the students regarding aspirations, inspirations, and education. As one parent said, “More power to more Filipino teachers in Halton! They are role models to our sons!”
And that concluded the night! Much thanks to Carm Condo and Caren Menchavez for organizing two terrific family nights, and for all of their support to the HCDSB Pinoy Project!