Gabriela Covaci

Country of Origin:

Romania

Themes:

Citizenship, Immigration, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada

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Bio

Following my arrival from Romania in 2003, my interest in embracing and supporting diversity motivated me to accept a volunteer board position with Settlement and Integration Service Agency and a job with district school board 's International Language Programs. Ten years ago I started a not-for profit called RoCaTeach, which provides events and programs free of charge to children raised in multicultural families.

I have been working in career development since 1993 when I 'escaped' from my BSc in Chemistry and chose a new career path. With respect to postgraduate training, I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1992 and MBA in Marketing and Business in 2002. In addition, I have  undertaken selected courses and workshops specifically pertaining to career development, such as the Career Counselor Diploma and Counselling Diploma, a True Color Facilitator Course, a Performance Management Certificate, and a Communication for Business Certificate, to name a few. As a committed continuous learner, in 2015 I completed a MEd program with Michigan University. I view my career as a Career Consultant as diverse as the community that I work for. I work with clients to help them find jobs or identify new career paths. I am employed full-time with Mohawk College, part-time teaching continuing education classes and part-time with the Hamilton Wentworth Board of Education as an International Language Teacher.

I have been appointed Project Coordinator and EMCEE for 2011's 100 Years International Women's Day, Project Coordinator for the Join Me on the Bridge event in 2012, and Project Coordinator of the Halton Multicultural Council Gala, which supports newcomer and refugee programs. I have been volunteering with Women as Career Coaches in Halton since 2005. When I lived in Hamilton, I volunteer with SISO, but since I moved to Halton, I now volunteer for the Halton Multicultural Council. My interests in multicultural and diversity have also motivated me to serve as a board member and volunteer in settlement and integration agencies.

For my commitment and leadership in helping the community to grow, in October 2010 I won – Mohawk College Community Award, April 2015 – Volunteer Hamilton – Community Builder Award, February 2016 – Absolutely Fabulous Women over 40 – Community Award, nominated in January 2016 for The League of Romanian Students Abroad – Academic Excellence Award, March 2017 YWCA Women of Distinction Award – Community Leadership. The most recent award I received in March 2017, same for Community Leadership was awarded by Halton Newcomer Strategy.

I will round up my bio with one of my favourite Albert Einstein quotes about the importance of continuing learning: “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabrielacovaciparvan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/covacigaby

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rocateach.canada

Blog: https://rocateachcanada.wordpress.com/about/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rocateach/?hl=en

Story

Being born and growing up in Romania, I am one of the few Romanian women who evolved from having no idea of women's reproductive health and rights to now advocating for other women. Forty-two years ago, Romania’s President Nicolae Ceausescu, dealt a crippling blow to women when he banned what we now call “abortion-on-request”. He wanted to impose his plan to increase the country’s population from 23 to 30 million by the year 2000. He began his campaign in 1966 with a decree that virtually made pregnancy a state policy. "The fetus is the property of the entire society," Ceausescu proclaimed. "Anyone who avoids having children is a renegade who abandons the laws of national continuity." 

That was the era when I was born and raised in a communist country facts that affected my life in to many ways. I am certain some of you watched the movie “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” awarded at Cannes Film festival about this topic.

I traveled to over 32 countries out of the 194 countries in the world and I had a chance to work in more than 5 countries. One day I decided to make Canada our home and I gladly say that I haven't looked back since! I am a proud mother of two boys, one 24 and another 13. I have been an active member of the community and have been part of the newcomer, municipalities and women directorate executive boards for more than 10 years. I am a strong believer in community involvement and I am committed to personal growth evident in my education, training and conferences attended.