Is it really possible to have a vantage point of the world – to see as much of the billions of life and millions of culture that our little planet showcases? Well, going out there in a pursuit to see it all, for all it’s worth, is rewarding but tiresome. Conveniently, what if I tell you that a place where the world is brought to come together exists? A place where everybody seemed to meet and brought their heritages proudly, and surprisingly amalgamated into one? Where different culture harmoniously coexists? This may sound delusional and too good to be true, but sure enough it exists and this is no other country than Canada.
For these same reasons, Nicole has found her place to be – Toronto, Canada.
From the Philippines to Aruba to Canada
“Tell me about yourself” is perhaps a dreadful question to some, but not for Nicole Alvarez, who has plenty of wonderful things to share that this article cannot sum up. Brimming with enthusiasm, Nicole answered this question with “First of all, I love this question because it is the most intimidating and the most exciting question in the world. Well, to start my name is Nicole Alvarez, I was born in Pasig City, Manila – but I was raised on “The One Happy Island” of Aruba for most of my life. My grandpa was a sea captain and came across Aruba and fell in love with the island and because my mom was looking for a better life for me and her, she picked us up and moved us to Aruba when I was 3 years old. I’m very grateful she made that decision. My mom built a very beautiful life for me and my younger brother. My mom was in the Philippine Consulate and a lot of my upbringing was attending Filipino events with her and even being a part of them (i.e. dancing, giving speeches, etc.) Then I started branching on my own and took part in many volunteering projects in my high school years. Besides being a good student, I was always looking for projects and ways to help others and become part of something bigger than myself.”
Although life is great on “The One Happy Island”, like hermit crabs by the sea that changes their shells as they grow, Nicole have to move to a bigger shell as she dreamed of something bigger for herself and her family. She wanted to immerse herself in a larger environment – and what better place is it to be than a multicultural city like Toronto, Canada – ”When I was graduating high school I didn’t really consider Canada at first. But then I attended a college conference and Seneca happened to have representatives there, and that helped me make my decision. I couldn’t really picture myself living in the US, but I saw myself being able to thrive in Canada. I also chose Toronto because growing up on a small island, I wanted a change in pace. I wanted to live in a big multicultural city. That was my dream and it still is.”
Life at Seneca
With her lifetime passion to help others, Nicole found a perfect profession for her that involves technical skills with the core of also servicing others – “I am studying recreational therapy at Seneca college. I found my program very interesting and unique because recreational therapy offers a new approach to healthcare. Also, Tr’s have a mindset where being a TR is more about the person behind the career. Your personality and values make the career what it is and not the other way around.”
Seneca College have 8 campuses spread throughout the Greater Toronto Area, each campus has their own academic specialty. Seneca College first opened its doors on 1967 and has proudly producing top of the line alumni.
Seneca is an international institution, and your program will get you ready to thrive in the fast-paced, global economy that is today’s reality. We welcome students from 140 countries around the world and have a growing number of overseas study opportunities.
Whatever your educational aspirations, whether you are looking for a career or an entrepreneurial experience, our outstanding academic programs, a global perspective and a strong community are here to support you. ~David Agnew, President, Seneca College.
Nicole is on her last year to finish her course, but she sure did made her stay in Seneca worthwhile. “My first part-time job was my first ever paid job ever. I didn’t even know back then that it would become what it is today when I started. In my first year, I truly just wanted to become more involved in campus. I didn’t think applying to be a part-time staff would lead to a position in the student government. With that came so many amazing opportunities to attend conferences, retreats, etc. This job also gave me the drive for wanting to do more and to become even more involved. It led me to become an advocate for Future Majority and as a member of the first-ever York Region Food Network Youth Committee. It blows my mind how much I have been able to do within these four years. When all I thought I was going to do was study here. But I should have known that my personality is too big for that. I love helping and I love making others smile. Personally, for me, community involvement is the best way to learn about our world and what is going on with it. It is also important for me to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who support my vision and challenge me to become a better person.Graduating this year is definitely bitter-sweet. I’ll miss my Seneca life, but I am ready to move on into the next phase of my life.”
Nicole is on a mission to live a life of passion of helping others after her graduation “ When I reflect on my current life and look back at my life back home, I realized how much of me back then was preparing for the life I have now. Growing up I was always very involved in my community. The way I look at it now and back then is, I am very lucky to have had the resources that I did. I want to be able to provide those resources as well to others in whichever shape or form.”
Of all the wonderful things that Nicole’s story presented to us, one truly remarkable is her dedication to live a life “giving”, and through this, there is no doubt that she can make the world a better place, one person, one connection at a time.
The world is waiting for you Nicole!