Maggie’s Story

“When you arrive, you start a new life from nothing. The emotional support and mentorship that I received from my counsellor, Jun, was just as important as the help I received getting settled and connecting with my community.”

Maggie loves challenge. “How can you grow fast, if there is no challenge?”

A journalist in China before she came to Canada in 2013, Maggie connected with University Settlement shortly after she arrived. “It’s the first place I could trust. Everyone is so caring — wanting to help you settle and build you a new life.”

Maggie found the language barrier her biggest challenge. While balancing a number of part-time jobs, including working in a bakery, day care, and food court, Maggie pursued ESL and other studies with great determination.

“I appreciate all my experiences, especially those as a waitress. That’s how I met my husband.”

Maggie’s dream was to become a journalist in Canada. With Jun’s encouragement, she became the first Chinese-speaking student in the Sports Journalism program at Centennial College. As jobs in journalism continue to disappear, unfortunately there were no positions available when she finished her internship.

So back to school Maggie went, this time in early childhood education. She started studying yoga teacher training as a way to engage children in learning Mandarin. The more Maggie taught, the
more she realized she enjoyed teaching yoga.

Today Maggie is a certified yoga instructor with her own mobile yoga studio, YogaTime, and she continues to tutor in Mandarin.
Maggie believes in giving back. When COVID-19 was at its height, Maggie offered free yoga classes to frontline workers.

“There were many times along the way when I thought I might give up. Jun would say, ‘Trust yourself and keep going.’ And so, I did.

“I hope my Mom will immigrate to Canada one day to share my life.”