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Three immigrants recognized at the Ashton Achievement Awards

January 8, 2016

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

Three immigrants were recognized with awards at the Ashton Achievement Awards in December, a semi-annual celebration of the achievements of the graduates of Ashton College. All studied in Ashton’s Immigration Consultant Diploma program, with plans of pursuing a career that helps other immigrants like themselves.

Perseverance Award winner Spencer Isaac
Spencer Isaac, a Canadian immigrant originally from Kazakhstan, won the Perseverance Award, which is presented to an individual who has overcome challenges during the pursuit of his/her education, is viewed as a role model with a true sense of leadership. With a deep passion for travelling and learning, Isaac studied in Turkey, and later in the U.S.A. for his masters, and received a scholarship for his education in both countries. In Canada, Isaac has worked in different professions and for different organizations: he was a senior manager at Dell computers, produced award-winning videography projects and worked as a volunteer. Isaac has always wanted to have a significant impact on the lives of other people, and he realized that learning more about immigration could give him that opportunity. “I was doing a lot of pro bono work in immigration, and I decided I wanted to be recognized in this area. Seeing families reunited in Canada made me realize I can make a real difference in people’s lives if I choose immigration consulting as my career.” After becoming a regulated immigration consultant, Isaac has opened his own company and is doing immigration work in Vancouver, focusing on refugee appeals and hearings.

Academic Achievement Award winner Mark Liew
Mark Liew immigrated to Canada from Singapore in 2012, and after going through the immigration process, he realized he wanted to help others going on this path, too. “I’ve seen so many new immigrants and potential immigrants struggle with the process, and I felt there was room to help a lot of people in this industry,” said Liew, who won the Academic Achievement Award, earning the highest grade average at Ashton College during their program. As a recent graduate, Liew has big plans for the future: he is planning to register as a regulated Canadian immigration consultant and start his own practice and running his own business. “I now have an opportunity to apply everything I’ve learned throughout the program, and I will work hard to help others on their immigration path.” Even after receiving the award for high academic achievements and performance, Liew was very humble about his success, and he thanked his instructors for their help and support during his education. “I have learned a lot through real-life examples my instructors used to support their points, and they shared such a wealth of experience and knowledge. I know I have a lot to learn, but I am very motivated to succeed”.

President’s Award winner Trish Forrest
Trish Forrest was born in the U.S.A. to Canadian parents, and now has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada. A busy mother of two, she was doing her best to pursue education while taking care of her young children and older parents. Forrest has a background in law: she is a lawyer by training, with a few years of experience in the early 1990s. She especially enjoyed learning about the laws related to the refugees. “I had to stop practising law after my first child, but learning about refugee cases was enough to get me interested in immigration,” she said. Forrest is hoping to do her full-skills exam in May to allow her enough time to prepare. Afterward, she hopes to work as a part-time immigration consultant: this way she can still spend time with her family. On top of the President’s Award, a recognition chosen by instructors and presented to a candidate with high academic standing, Forrest also won an award from CAPIC, which was two- year free membership to their association. She was both surprised and delighted to receive the awards. “It is great to be noticed for all the hours and hard work that I put into my education.”

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