It is our pleasure to introduce you to Nina Baksh, who’s been serving on our Board for two years. Nina brings to the Board her passion for technology and for helping newcomers to feel welcome in our community.
What motivated you to volunteer on the board?
I became involved with the Immigrant Welcome Centre in 2015 when I volunteered to help with the program to teach clients to use iPads. I was inspired by the staff and the current ED, Jim Brennan. I could see the positive impact this organization had on the community and I wanted to be a part of it.
Tell us about a favourite memory with the IWC.
As a board member we get monthly client success stories and these stories motivate me to support the IWC. These stories are of new members of our community who have faced great hurdles to become Canadian citizens and contributing members to our society. Many have left their families in search of a better life and I’m proud to be part of an organization that helps and supports them.
Does your family have an immigration story you’d like to share?
When I was 9 years old my dad brought my family to Canada on a sabbatical from the University of Guyana. Soon after we arrived, he passed away suddenly of a heart attack. All of our assets were frozen in Guyana as he had no will. My mom was left with 3 children to care for, no money and no home. She didn’t even have a high school diploma. She did night school to earn her high school diploma and worked various minimum wage jobs during the day to make ends meet. We were sponsored by her brother and it took 5 years for us to become Canadian citizens. I wish there had been an organization such as the Immigrant Welcome Centre to help our family.
Have you used any IWC services and if so what was your experience?
Not really. I had a question about where someone who was coming by boat could get their VISA stamped and IWC was able to help me very quickly with that question.
If you knew anyone immigrating to Canada, what would you tell them about the IWC to help them make the best of their experience settling here?
The staff at the IWC really care about helping newcomers. There are all kinds of programs and they really care about helping newcomers find community.
Other than the IWC, what are some of your passions?
I’m a member of the Greenways Loop Group and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the loop and make it safe for everyone to ride their bikes, walk or run. I am passionate about growing technology in Campbell River and through my work at the City of Campbell River I get to work with both local angel investors and budding entrepreneurs. I have recently started collecting NFTs. Also, my dog Bowie keeps me very busy as he likes to camp, hike and kayak.