November 14, 2015


From Past Mentees

“Imagine yourself stepping into a new world where you knew no one but your family. I was a new immigrant in 2008 and although I felt excited, I feared that I won’t be able to adapt to a new school environment. It was like entering a maze where you don’t know if there’s a way out, and I felt like I needed more support than my family could provide.

Luckily, the Filipino immigrant community at Tupper was pretty huge so I didn’t feel so alone. I later met Tita Joy, who then invited me to join KAMP. Having met AWESOME MENTORS from UBC made me realize that I could be one of them someday. The KAMP mentors did not only help me with my homework, they also taught me to be a mentor myself. KAMP wasn’t just a place for learning; it was a “homey” environment where we could feel that there was support for us students. KAMP became my home, my family.

I graduated after two years, but even now, I still try to keep in touch with my KAMP family because they were a big part of my success. (PS: Acoustic Night rocks!!! Especially when my bestfriend Arenne and I perform. 😁)”

– Teresa Maure (grad. 2010)

“As a new immigrant in Canada, it was nice to have a mentorship program like KAMP. The program helped me adjust to a new environment without feeling overwhelmed. More importantly, it taught me what it means to stay committed in whatever I get myself involved with, which at the time meant committing my Fridays to learn and participate in KAMP’s activities, while making new friends. What we learned in KAMP were not just lessons we could apply in school, but also lessons we could apply in our everyday lives to become a better individuals.

The KAMP mentors, Tita Joy, and my fellow mentees all helped me gain more self-confidence by believing in my own skills. Through KAMP’s activities, I learned to work with different people with different personalities, which later prepared me to face the world outside of school. I am and always will be proud to be a part of KAMP, and I will always remember everything it taught me to a better person in a new country without having to give up my Filipino values.”

 – Arenne Roque (grad. 2010)

“I first joined the KAMP family when I was in Grade 10 when Tita Joy, the Sir Charles Tupper’s Filipino advisor, asked my friends and I to join. At this point, I had only been in Canada for three years and have had mostly nomad friends. I simply knew people as classmates or as fellow Filipinos and have yet to have an established set of friends. KAMP didn’t introduce me to new people. I already knew most of the Filipino community at Tupper since it was a small community and we usually congregated in the same area of the school. Though I interacted with them, I didn’t develop any truly lasting friendships until we were brought together in a single room. There, we were made to talk about ourselves and our experiences. The KAMP mentors would spread themselves around and made sure that each group of students had one mentor to engage everyone, to keep the conversations flowing. More importantly, by being present and accessible to us, the mentors kept each of us reminded that outside of Tupper, outside of our yet narrow perspective, there is a larger community of Filipinos who were just like us, who at some point have had to adjust to a new world.

Over time, the KAMPers (as we called ourselves) came to share more than our stories: we shared music and laughter. Having just moved from the Philippines, I was still adjusting to my new environment and mainly kept to myself. I had very few friends and I was simply, blindly going through high school with no idea of where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. By being in that room full of people who were also trying to adapt and mentors trying to help us adapt, I was forced to come out of my shell. In that room, I learned everything I now know about leadership and friendship. Most importantly, I learned about my limitations: I learned there was none. I had low self-esteem because I saw myself as an outsider, limited in capabilities and advantages. However, being at KAMP every Friday after school, surrounded by aspiring lawyers, sociologists, nurses, and accountants, showed me that I had no limitations, and that I have a place in my new world if I choose to take it. Every week, our mentors showed us that we can be ambitious, driven, and motivated without the fear of not belonging.

By the end of high school, with the help of KAMP, I had friends that I saw outside of school who, until now – six years later – are still my best friends. I did not only make friends at KAMP, I also made friends outside of it. I became more engaged in society as I became more confident in myself and my capabilities. Currently, I am the President of the Langara Social Club, hoping to build a stronger community at Langara by hosting events for the student body. I also just finished my diploma in Marketing, and I am well on my way to completing my Bachelors in Marketing. I am all of these because KAMP was there to guide and help me find my footing in my new world. And this guidance didn’t stop when I finished high school. Even now I am still in communication with my KAMP mentors, and they are now still as willing to give me advice in my endeavours as they were then.”

– Genevieve Fontanilla (grad. 2010)

“I joined KAMP when I first migrated to Canada. The program not only helped me meet new friends, it also helped me adjust to Canada’s culture and environment. The program also facilitated different workshops, such as understanding the Canadian school system and teaching us how to prepare for post-secondary. The KAMP mentors were always available to tutor students who needed help on their schoolwork. KAMP, though, was not just about academic mentoring and workshops, we also had fun playing games! This is why I did not hesitate with I had the opportunity to join KAMP again, but now as a mentor, I am able to give back and share my experiences to secondary students, and help them in the best way I can.”

– Robinn Belleza (grad. 2013)

From Past Mentors

“Being a KAMP mentor and being there every week for the KAMP mentees made me realize that I can make a difference in someone else’s life through simple deeds. I could feel that the mentees expected me to be there every session, so I tried my best to do so because I didn’t want to let them down. Week after week, I got to know my group of mentees, as well as other mentees in the program, very well. I was able to laugh with them, eat snacks with them and casually talk with them. I was able to know their dreams and struggles, and actually be their friend.

I enjoyed my time with KAMP as a mentor, and I would encourage anyone who is remotely interested to sign up as a mentor and see the impact you can make in someone else’s life.”

– Timothy Dela Torre (mentor)