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Event #10

#CdnImm Event #10 - Youth & Settlement
Thursday, December 13, 2012 from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge St


Youth & Settlement

The aim of this session was:

  • To understand current challenges and practices in youth settlement services and newcomer youth integration


Julia Mais

OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Julia is currently employed as a Program Coordinator with OCASI (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants) where her accomplishments have included co-authoring a report for the United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), developing grant proposals and strengthening the organization’s web-based products. Originally from the West Coast, Julia has also worked, studied and volunteered in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Her passion for people and cultures from around the world has led her to work and volunteer with immigrants, refugees and temporary residents through settlement agencies, asylum centres, youth mobility programs and ESL instruction in Canada and abroad.

Julia recently graduated with a Master of Arts Degree and Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies from York University. Her research, which focused on immigrants' experiences in the labour market, was presented at the 14th National Metropolis Conference.

Jennilee Austria

North York Community House (NYCH)

Jennilee is a School Settlement (SEPT) Worker with North York Community House. She has her Masters in Immigration and Settlement from Ryerson University, and has worked in numerous TDSB and TCDSB high schools with newcomer youth. Jennilee co-facilitates training sessions for staff to learn how to implement Digital Storytelling in their work – an initiative which she uses in her schools to give a voice to the English Language Learners who are often misunderstood in school. Her Digital Stories have been presented at various educational equity conferences in the GTA, and are currently being shown in Malawi and Kenya by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for their Pre-Departure Orientation Sessions. Her presentation featured some of these stories, and she addressed current trends among newcomer youth in her TDSB and TCDSB high schools.

Cristian Medina

North York Community House (NYCH)

Cristian is currently working as Youth Settlement Worker for North York Community House (NYCH). Throughout his career at NYCH, which has included the roles of School Settlement Worker and Youth Opportunities Program Coordinator, Cristian has acquired extensive experience helping newcomer youth in high schools, and their families, with their settlement process. He has also worked with youth at risk to engage them in the community by helping them with their education and employment needs and by developing their leadership, communication and team-building skills. Cristian, along with a coworker, planned, coordinated and delivered a conference for approximately 100 Hispanic refugees to commemorate the 25th anniversary of refugee rights in Canada.

Cristian also has experience working with marginalized youth in France and Colombia. After finishing a post-graduate certificate in International Development, he worked with the Colombian-German Association for Integral Sustainable Development in Bogotá, Colombia where he was in charge of coordinating a project to develop the capacities of marginalized youth so that they become the leaders in charge of transforming their environment.

Cristian presented some digital stories from the youth he has been working with together with Jennilee Austria.

Jai Sahak

OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Jai is the content coordinator for He has a Masters Degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University with a particular focus on the integration of new immigrant and refugee youth living in disadvantaged communities. His thesis, entitled “Race, Space and Place: Exploring Toronto’s Regent Park from a Marxist Perspective”, explored the experiences of newcomer youth living in Toronto’s Regent Park. He has worked as a frontline youth worker where he was responsible for overseeing numerous programs involving newcomer youth. He has been working collaboratively with agencies in the Regent Park, Lawrence Heights, Jamestown and Scarborough Village neighbourhoods of Toronto. He also has experience with capacity building among newcomer communities. He was an acting member of a panel of practitioners at York University/OCASI Question and Answer session on settlement challenges facing youth, and also as a community reviewer of the Newcomer Youth Settlement Guide for Service Providers. He has also sat as a Board Member for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation’s Newcomer Youth Initiative. The aim was to expose youth to a wide range of business practices and motivate newcomer youth to start their own businesses.


Julia Mais - PowerPoint Presentation

Julia Mais Jennilee Austria and Cristian Medina Sai Sahak


If you would like to repeat or hold a similar event, please get in touch:


This session run in collaboration with:
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