My Home – London – By Alberto Sepulveda

January 2, 2013
By: Emerging Leaders

This is the story about my journey. It taught me a lot: how to be responsible and mature; that life isn’t just just a game; that you have to work hard if you want to succeed. You probably have your own story, but this is mine and I thought I would share it with you.

I finished high school in Colombia in 2006 and at my graduation party my Dad gave me an envelope. Inside was a ticket to Texas. It was a surprise for everyone at the table – even my Mom was in awe. I was leaving in a week to visit my Aunt and be immersed in the English language.

Texas was awesome and I had a great time living with my Aunt. I attended a local high school where I formed great friendships and my English improved exponentially. After five months I was thinking about staying in Texas and pursuing a career in Nursing. Fate, however, had other plans for me.

I was seventeen when I got a call from my Dad. He told me I was going to go to Canada. At first I was hesitant because I loved the city I lived in and the friends I had made. My hesitation slowly grew into excitement as my Dad told me about all the wonderful opportunities Canada had to offer immigrants. When you are seventeen you think you can do anything, and I was ready to go out on my own to a new country, with no family or friends, and start a new life there. I was set to leave on May 29, 2007.

That morning I boarded a flight from San Angelo to Detroit. I had to stay overnight in Detroit to prepare for my appointment with Immigration Canada at the Windsor-Detroit border the following morning. The interview with Immigration went well, but the day was long and I was exhausted. One last thing before they let me go, “Where are you staying?” I had no idea.

Luckily I received a call from my immigration lawyer’s legal assistant offering me a place to stay. She and and her husband were a young Colombian couple who lived in London, Ontario. So that was it. They wished me good luck and sent me on my way.

When I emerged from the office I was surprised to find it was a hot, hot day. I was wearing my jacket, cowboy boots, and a plaid flannel shirt. I wondered where the igloos were and why there was no snow on the ground. I went to the Greyhound station and hastily boarded a bus to London.

After I turned eighteen I was able to fill out the paperwork and bring my parents and two brothers into the country. They arrived in London on January 8th 2008. It was tough for my parents to leave their family behind. Tears were shed and hugs given. When they got here, they had to integrate with the culture, and their inability to communicate made it harder. We had each other: the brothers; (Pedro, Juan, and I) Mom; and Dad. Family is important in a foreign country.

My parents love Canada and although they miss home they know Canada is the land of opportunities, and parents always want the best for their kids. Our quest as their sons is to strive

to be better and better each day and excel in what we do so we can make them proud and gain a feeling of accomplishment for ourselves. Our family is proof that great things can grow if your mind is set on a goal.

Today, Pedro is on his last year at Catholic Central, and Juan Pablo is in grade 4. Mom and Dad continue their ESL studies and my mom has been doing some volunteer work and has participated in workshops at Fanshawe College. As for me, I graduated from Fanshawe’s Business Marketing program, I love the city of London, I love my job, and I am living the dream.

Alberto Sepulveda


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