Immigrant Women's Advisory Committee Profile
People from Different Cultures have more Similarities than Differences.
Immigrant Women's Advisory Committee | Meet MARIALEJANDRA REYES VALERIO
Marialejandra is grateful to live work and play on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples also known as Burnaby, BC.
MEET MARIALEJANDRA REYES VALERIO
Marialejandra came to Canada from Venezuela. She comes from a line of strong women who uplift each other and a close extended family who introduced her to community engagement. Marialejandra is grateful to be in Canada and she wishes other Canadians understood how hard it is being away from the place that you feel at home in. One of her greatest challenges was finding purposeful work while building a new life in Canada but through her struggle she has found meaning and connection. She encourages others to be open to the same.
WHAT IS THE GREATNESS THE LEARNING JOURNEYS PROJECT HAS HELPED YOU TO BEGIN TO UNPACK?
The Learning Journeys experience helped Marialejandra regain confidence that had been worn down through the cumulative impact of walking through fear and beginning again. With her regrounded confidence, Marialejandra found CLARITY that she is on the right path. TRUST that she has what it takes. FAITH that she can face what comes her way in the future.
Marialejandra gets frustrated by the incongruence between what she has and continues to experience in her own life: the POWER of women - and what she witnesses in the world. She is working to close that gap. She wants the world to realize the positive impact that more women in leadership brings.
"Marialejandra, is a charismatic, eloquent, and thoughtful leader. Her management skills are outstanding. Marialejandra knows how to guide others, gently and clearly, by always listening and offering her support, comfort, and enlightenment. Marialejandra’s reflective, attentive, and responsible personality gave us the opportunity to work in a peaceful, safe and productive work environment. Her confidence and mentorship shined through her work as co-designer of the Let’s talk about Group."
- Sandrine Espié, Women's Leadership and Development Program Coordinator, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
WHAT IS THE LEARNING - BOTH FOR YOU AND FOR ALL OF US - TO BE AWARE OF AT THIS TIME?
HERS: The uniting power of story. “We might have different experiences in life but we still can share the same feelings. I see myself in others when I hear their stories, this leads to a deep sense of belonging and I know I am not alone.” She notes that the biggest celebration of her settlement journey is the supportive relationships.
OURS: Be open to the blurry; the messy; the uncomfortable. All of this is part of the process and it is an opportunity to heal and reinterpret our stories.
WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOUR JOURNEY IS TAKING YOU NEXT AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT THAT?
Through her settlement journey in Canada, Marialejandra discovered a passion for supporting others through challenges that promote growth. She is now pursuing a career in the social services sector.
"By participating in different community engagement programs for immigrants and the advisory, co-design and training experience during Learning Journeys helped me to re-build my confidence and identify the new career path that I want to follow."