What does it mean to be a newcomer champion?
It means settling in a new community and making a difference.
Or being an individual, group or organization that supports newcomers as they settle in their new homes.
And a new set of awards will recognize both types of champions in the New Year.
The St. Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership is launching its first-ever Newcomer Champion Awards at a ceremony in February.
But nominations are open now to anyone who wants to recognize people and organizations from St. Thomas and Elgin who are making a positive impact.
The awards flow from STELIP’s mandate to create welcoming, caring and inclusive communities that are appealing to settlers.
“By recognizing those who are proactively making the difference, we hope that more people will follow those examples and be more aware of immigration in Canada and in our area and be more supportive,” said Fabiana Estrela, STELIP coordinator.
The Newcomer Community Leader Award will recognize a newcomer committed to making a difference.
“It could be giving back to the community as a volunteer or creating opportunities for others,” Estrela said. “But it’s really recognizing those newcomers who are really being outstanding within our community.”