Read about who’s inspired.
Toronto Inspires is a growing collective of unique voices giving shout-outs to friends, neighbours, acquaintances and strangers—people whose actions breathe life and positive energy into our city.
Lynda Chubak (Blog Instigator):
As an ESL and Adult Literacy instructor, I’ve been touched by the poignant, uplifting, personal stories from people coming to Canada from all over the world.
As inspiring stories were regularly emerging from my classroom, it became evident that behaviour with the potential to inspire is readily available to us, should we choose to see it. It’s from this vantage point that Toronto Inspires also came about as a forum for ESL learners to share positive Toronto stories.
Patricia Velasco: Mother of Camila and Martina, Patricia previously called Argentina home. Now, her little corner of the world with her husband and two beautiful girls is Toronto, where she has found incredible friendship and support.
Fangying Liao: Fangying is currently living in Hangzhou, China, and sometimes goes by Doris, an English name she chose for herself. She is a junior student in Zhejiang University, majoring in accounting. During her spare time, she likes travelling to different places on her own, a hobby which has contributed to her plan to study abroad after graduation. She hopes to go to Toronto another time, making more friends and further developing her story of kindness.
Myle Khuuh: Originating for Vietnam, Toronto has been Myle’s home for more than two decades. While work and family demands have kept her busy, in the spirit of life long learning, she has decided to improve her English language skills, and has been regularly attending ESL classes.
Dina May: From early on, growing up in Russia, Dina has been passionate about sports, which has fed into her other passion, travel. Playing sports within different tournaments provided her with opportunities to be exposed to other cities. She credits these trips with making her independent and open to new experiences. While earning her bio-medical engineering degree at the Kazan State Power Engineering University, she lived for six years in a dorm. That shared-space experience taught her how to adapt to many kinds of people and living conditions, which is serving her well as she and her husband settle into making Toronto their new home. She still enjoys the thrill of travelling and, in contrast to dorm-life, also enjoys relaxing at home in a clean, quiet environment.
Edson Scharf: Edson is a branding consultant, marketing researcher and professor at the University of Blumenau in Brazil. He travelled to Toronto in 2010 to take an intensive English language course. While developing his English skills, he fell in love with the city, which prompted him to return the following year with his family. Now back in Brazil, he is a Toronto fan from afar, a re-energized cyclist, and a proud father of two wonderful children.
Jiraporn Sonpaveerawong (Jenna): Known to her classmates as Jenna, Jiraporn arrived from Thailand to build a better life for her family. With a PhD related to nursing and mental health, Jenna has taught from more than a decade at a Thai university, in addition to working in health care.She has attended school to improve her English as she prepares to enter the healthcare field in Canada.
Shyh-Chwem Kang (Steve): Steve is originally from Taiwan where he worked as an engineer in the naval industry. Along with his wife and two sons, he now calls Toronto home. See ESL Writers Rock to read Steve’s poignant tribute to his tenacious eldest son, who faces th challenges of Asperger’s Syndrome, regarding his fight to find stable employment.