St. Stephen's Community House participants

Fariba Ahmadi

Fariba AhmadiFariba Ahmadi

Persian maple syrup

Mixing chia seeds and maple syrup into traditional Persian cooking wasn’t what Fariba Ahmadi expected when immigrating to Canada. But it was cultural experiences like those that truly encouraged her during her English classes.

“When I came to Canada from Iran, I didn’t speak English well and didn’t know anything about my new country. I was so confused. One of the Iranian community settlement services referred me to St. Stephen’s to improve my language skills. It was my first priority as a newcomer.”

Fariba worked very hard and quickly advanced through the classes. Along the way she was happy to share what she learned. “I had a great time thanks to my teachers’ encouragement and support so I really wanted to donate my time.” Fariba mentored other students, shared her fusion cuisine, and offered jewelry-making workshops for her fellow students and for the youth at our Newcomer Centre in North York.

After dramatically improving her English, Fariba is full of confidence and is setting off to travel across Ontario. “I want to get to know this province better to really understand Canadian culture. I couldn’t do that when I first came here.”


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