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Minerva Cares Award helps mother create a better future for her son

Jasmin Largoza worked in the Philippines as an emergency room registered nurse for four years before she decided to move to Vancouver. As a single mother, she struggled to make ends meet which eventually compelled her to make a drastic move. Driven by faith and determined to make a better life for her son, Gabriel, and her family, Jasmin left him in the care of her mother and moved to Vancouver to work as a live-in caregiver, in hopes of ultimately providing them with a better future. Leaving Gabriel behind was not easy, but in doing so she has been able to send money home in order for him to go to a good school.

On top of working six days a week as a caregiver, Jasmin also volunteers with her church and at a local nursing home for seniors. She’s even studying to become a Licensed Practical Nurse so that she can return to her nursing profession! But acquiring the license is not just a matter of passing the test – applicants must also pay fees before they can write the exam. Between living expenses and supporting Gabriel and her family back home, Jasmin couldn’t find the money to pay for this additional cost no matter how essential it was to her career development.

“I am so grateful to the Minerva donors who make this award possible and when I am able, I plan to give back the support to others.”

Jasmin’s friend advised her to reach out to local immigrant services, and so she did. It was ultimately Editha Magtibay at Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) that suggested she apply for the Minerva Cares Award which supports caregivers in financial need to attend school and upgrade their skills. As a result, Jasmin applied and was one of several caregivers who received up to $1000 towards educational expenses.

Q: How did you feel about receiving the Minerva Cares Award?
A: Receiving this award made me realize that I was not on my own. There are wonderful people here willing to help. I am so thankful for Editha and her continued support. Even today she is still there supporting me. I am also so grateful to the Minerva donors who make this award possible and when I am able, I plan to give back the support to others.

Q:  Since moving to Canada do you feel that you have changed in any way?
A: I feel that I am more positive and assertive now. I used to be shy but now I feel that I have more freedom to explore and able to ask for help when I need it. I am also in a better position to help others and this matters a great deal to me. My mother always told me to keep my feet on the ground and to remember those who helped me along the way and to help others whenever I could. Taking care of my family is my priority but I am happy that I can also give back to my community (here and in the Philippines).

Q: Ultimate plans?
A: To work in Canada as a nurse and bring my son and mother here.

If you are a BC woman that works as a caregiver, and would like to return to school or upgrade your skills, please click here to apply for the Minerva Cares Award! Application deadline is June 16, 2014. Thank you to Shelly Appleton-Benko, Barb Livingston, Nancy McKinstry and Nurse Next Door for making this award possible. 

To see all available Education Awards, please click here.

Thank you ISSofBC for your ongoing support in promoting this award.

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