Country of Origin:
Citizenship, Immigration, Asian Heritage, Racism/Discrimination, Francophonie, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada, Refugee Experiences
Samson and his entire family are forever grateful to Canada and to all Canadians for everything his family and he have. Below is a link to the Carleton University's own CKCU FM 93.1, a radio interview conducted by Ms. Camilla Liu, on "Personal Journey", one of the events during the Ottawa Asian Heritage Month celebration activities. The interview took place on Thursday evening on 14 May 2015. It was subsequently aired on Monday 18 May. http://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/51/22140.html
An extremely proud Canadian soldier, Major Samson Young was a refugee from Laos, who immigrated to Canada in the autumn of 1980, attended Fisher Park High School in Ottawa, then joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Royal Canadian Signals Corps (RCCS) after graduating with a Computer Engineering Technologist Diploma from Algonquin College in 1990. While working full time in the CAF, he studied part time whenever he could by taking university courses in the evenings. After a long period lasting 19 years of part-time studies, he graduated with a BA in Linguistics with distinction from Carleton University in 2009.
Maj Young has been to two peacekeeping missions and two taskings: Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2006 and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2013, North-West Territory in 2014 and recently (January - July 2016), was tasked to work on a six-month Temporary Duty as a staff officer at the Canadian National Military Representative (CAN NMR) office at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe) in Belgium.
Maj Young was the military Co-Chair of the DVMAG-NCR (Defence Visible Minority Advisory Group – National Capital Region) from 2015 - 2017.
On a non-work related side, Samson had made the initial designs for Navy, Army and Air Force sport wears (t-shirts, sweaters, pants/shorts, goft shirts, baseball caps etc. between 1999-2003 and his designs were mass produced by Canex) and sold in all Canex stores across Canada (of which he profits nothing except feeling very proud and rewarding that his designs were well received by many across the CAF). He is also a latecomer in the realm of extreme sports: an inline-skater; surfer (please note: all links provided here are not active, thus they cannot be executed by simply clicking on them. Please copy the links and paste them individually onto a separate internet browser URL. Thank you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzQjmvhqotA), sandboarder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vExBjytyqWo), skier (also enjoy teaching kids of all ages, here teaching his 7 years old nephew; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GY5yQF8GEU) and an avid snowboarder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V3FiSXdhSA) with a CASI (www.casi-acms.com) certified Level 1 snowboard instructor at the age of 39 years old who loves to teach his passion to kids of all ages (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEs2gqjB0nA). He was the team captain participated twice in Op NIJMEGEN in the Netherlands that he marched 40km/day for four consecutive days; at the age of 37, he completed a parachutist course and two half marathons; at 42, he was part of the military cycling team that made an epic journey across Canada, from Victoria B.C. to St-John's N.L., covering 8,500+km (www.mercurytrek.blogspot.ca); met nine Lieutenant-Governors and later, the Governor-General, Mme. Adrienne Clarkson. In one of his volunteer taskings as one of the CAF's "Recruiters for a day" during the 2007 Chinese New Year event at CNE in Toronto, he met the former PM, Mr. Stephen Harper. Shortly after returning home from his peacekeeping mission in the DRC, he again, at the age of 52, cycled with a team of 40 military cyclists to/fro Kingston and had the rare opportunity to meet the RCCS Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. At almost 54, he ran a 5K during the 2015 annual Army Run, then immediately followed by marching 21km with rucksack, afterward, he went to do yet another 13km rucksack (30lb) march to help raise fund during the annual Terry Fox Run, all three events in one day. He did the exact same things again this year on 17 September which helped raised over $800 for cancer research and helping soldiers struggling with PTSD. He has determined to keep on doing this as long as he is physically able to do so, all for good cause...
Samson speaks seven languages and is a volunteer interpreter working via an on-call basis for the Languages of Life Inc. (http://languagesoflife.org), helping new immigrants with interpretation services. In 2008, among 30+ volunteers (and the only one from CAF/DND) he was selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee to work in China during the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in welcoming and assisting our Canadian athletes, their families and friends. In 2012, he accompanied General (now retired) Walter Natynczyk, the former Chief-of-the-defence-Staff’s Delegation visited China’s military.
Samson lives with his very supportive spouse, Jacqueline, their two lovely Maltese Yuli and Muili, plus recently, their three new born puppies: Coco, Lulu and Mimi while taking care of his 93-years old elderly mother, who also resides with them in Ottawa.
Samson was born in a family of eight siblings in Paksé, Laos of Chinese parents. As his family was moving frequenty due to civil wars at the time, living in a variety of environments have helped him to appreciate the various cultural and linguistic diversities and as a result, has given him unique sociolinguistic and cultural "quotients". Samson was once told by one of his university linguistic professors that he is a sociolinguistic and cultural cameleon who can easily adapt, live, work and thrive in various socially very different environments. He speaks fluently in Mandarin, Hakka, Laotian, Thai and English, with functional levels in French and Cantonese and is currently learning ASL (American Sign Language), Swahili, Spanish and Arabic etc. on his own time...
His first goal in life is to achieve a function level for all six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Although he was born in a tropical country, he has adapted and loves the Canadian winter and everything about it, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tobogganing and camping during winter seasons.
His Second life time goal is to conduct at least five journeys (not trips, but journeys) travelling across Canada, each time using a different mode of transportation (i.e. in 2003 on a bicycle (http://mercurytrek.blogspot.ca/) - Done; in 2012 in a vehicle - Done; in 2017 on a motorcycle - Done (please note: he took his inspiration from this group of seniors, see a short video clip about their determination: http://youtu.be/vksdBSVAM6g); in 2020 will be in a RV; and in 2024 it will be on foot,i.e. walking across Canada. The fifth is drawing the inpiration from these two senior citizens living in his hometown: http://www.orleansstar.ca/Living/Travel/2007-07-12/article-640516/Orleans-residents-share-tale-of-cross-country-walk/1). Longer term goal: Get a private single-engine pilot licence and fly across Canada in 2026, this, eventually, would mark as his sixth X-Canada journey...
His on-going life time goal is to learn and/or do at least one new thing per year. Therefore, for the year 2015: Get his motorcycle lincense - Done (http://youtu.be/snRCFe1DaYM). For the year 2016: visiting as many Western European countries as he could while he was working in Belgium: thus, did so for a total of 11 countries - Done. For this year (2017): learn to kayak or canoe in the Ottawa River or a Lake in the Gatineau Park.
His personal guiding principles in life are:
1. Outlook on life: Maintain positive Attitudes in everything thou do;
2. Family: Love and respect thy family;
3. Canada: Serve Canada before thyself with duty, loyalty, integrity, courage and honour;
4. Learning enabler: Maintain an open-mindedness;
5. Education: Continue to pursue higher education and strives for personal growth and improvement;
6. Charity: Through donations, fundraising and volunteerism - carry out these tasks with kindness, compassion and empathy toward fellow humans who are less fortunate than thou;
7. Life Satisfaction: Live within thy means and be content with and grateful of every little things thou had or have in life;
8. Self: Have fun - Take thy work seriously, but not thyself;
9. Personal Growth: Continue to revise and improve thy list of guiding principle as more life experience has been gained;
10. Priority of importance: Family, friends, work, other people, lastly, self;
11. Adopt the better, newer and more modern ideas (as "when in Rome...") then integrate them into yours. Abandon any of the obsolete and outdated views or beliefs from the country of your birth (e.g. inequality of the sexes, xenocentric and ethnocentric etc.) as they do not belong in your new adopted country --> Canada; and
12. Spirituality: Most importantly, have and maintain a spiritual belief. His is only one verse: Joshua 1:9.
Five personal mottos in life:
1. Toward the end and when you look back on the journey of life, you will regret more about the things you should have done but did not; so much more than the things you should not have done but did;
2. You do not stop playing because you have grown old; au contraire, you have simply grown old because you have stopped playing; and
3. It's better to be physically worn out, rather thank being rusted out;
4. Life is too short, try anything (legal, moral and ethical) at least three times, if first time you do not like it, give it a chance and try again, and again. After three times and you still do not like it, then move on to trying the next new things...; and
5. Do not allow other people to influent you by telling you on whatever you cannot achieve, set your goal and go for it... As Henry Ford once said: "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right."
A bi-lingual short story detailing his personal experience of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013:
The Memory Project: http://www.thememoryproject.com/speaker-bios/29:major-samson-young/
Additional Themes to the above list include:
Life in the Canadian Armed Forces
Languages, culture & Identity
Second and multilingual acquisition
Canada - Richness in living/working in a country of duality (English and French) in culture and identity
Living & working in an austere environment;
Pride and what it means to be called a “Canadian” - a personal perspective