The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2023, “Stories of Determination,” resonated deeply with the members of the Beanfield Asian Canadian Employee Resource Group (ERG).
Among the ERG members, there was an individual whose story served as a shining example of determination, resilience, and the pursuit of the Canadian dream. Meet Bernard, a vibrant member of the ERG, who graciously decided to share his personal journey.
Bernard’s tale began when he was just 10 years old. His parents, recognizing the boundless opportunities Canada had to offer, made the courageous decision to uproot their family from the Philippines in search of a better future. Despite having prosperous careers and comfortable lives in their home country, Bernard’s parents believed that their children’s future would be brighter in Canada.
However, like many immigrant parents, they faced a multitude of challenges upon their arrival. Despite their impressive education and work experience, their qualifications did not readily transfer to the Canadian system. Undeterred by the setback, Bernard’s parents rolled up their sleeves and took on not one, but two minimum wage jobs each, just to make ends meet. Their unwavering dedication and indomitable spirit became a source of inspiration for their children.
Growing up, Bernard witnessed firsthand the sacrifices his parents made to provide for their family. The love and support they showered upon his and his siblings fuelled their determination to pursue higher education and meaningful careers. Bernard, his sister, and his brother embraced every opportunity to learn, excel, and overcome obstacles on their path to success.
With sheer determination and unwavering focus, Bernard and his siblings managed to secure scholarships and grants that eased their financial burden and allowed them to pursue higher education. They seized the chance to obtain degrees in their chosen fields, and each one of them embarked on a rewarding professional journey.
Now, as accomplished individuals, Bernard and his siblings carry a shared mission: to honor their parents’ tireless efforts and repay their unconditional love. They are committed to supporting their parents in their early retirement, providing them with the financial means to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Bernard’s family dreams of enabling their parents to travel back home to the Philippines at least once a year, reuniting with their extended family and basking in the warmth of their shared heritage.
Driven by their parents’ resilience and armed with the tools for success, Bernard and his siblings have become advocates for change within their community. Through his involvement in the Beanfield Asian Canadian ERG, Bernard works tirelessly to dismantle stereotypes, combat racism, and foster a more inclusive society. Bernard’s story serves as a beacon of hope, reminding everyone that with determination, perseverance, and unwavering support, dreams can be realized, and barriers overcome.
During Asian Heritage Month 2023, Bernard’s story becomes a catalyst for change, inspiring countless others to embrace their own narratives of determination and strive for a brighter future.