50 Faces of SECC – Sumud

From Participant to Employee

Sumud arrived in Canada with her family in 2016 from Yemen. Sumud and her family connected with South Essex Community Council (SECC) Settlement Services where her parents learned about the programs offered for children and youth.

She started her journey by attending the Spark Day Camp in the summer of 2017. Following the camp, Sumud attended newcomer youth programming for grades 7 and 8s. She quickly became an ambassador for the program. Sumud displayed great leadership skills from the beginning by rallying other youth to gain involvement. She became an active participant in the community and quickly began recognizing the importance of supports for newcomer youth.  Sumud excelled at building friendships and making connections. Sumud continued to attend the Newcomer Youth program once she entered High School.

Throughout the years, Sumud’s leadership skills continued to evolve, where she was confident to organize and host community dinner. She hosted a community dinner where she led a group of 8 peers for youth in the community.

Most recently Sumud worked alongside SECC’s Career Hub to build her resume and begin to showcase her abilities and skills. Her story came full circle when she accepted a job offering for Spark Summer Camp as a Youth Worker in the summer of 2022. This is the exact same camp that she attended as a Newcomer to Canada at the age of 11.

Today, Sumud continues to volunteer in the Children & Youth program. She has now taken on a role as a volunteer interpreter for an afterschool program for children and families in need.

Looking forward, Sumud plans to become a lawyer. The 17 year old’s dream is to hone in on the skills she has developed over the years and help other families in building their lives in Canada. “I want to make a difference and help families like mine who came here and built so much,” shares Sumud. “Thank you for helping me grow and helping me get to where I am today.”

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