Our Journey to Canada
Meet Celesta Gaba, a proud Ghanian-Canadian. Celesta is the Human Resources Coordinator at WFCU Credit Union. She is a graduate of the Bachelor’s of Commerce program at the Odette School of Business and holds a minor in French Studies. When she is not working Celesta loves spending her time volunteering through WFCU Credit Union’s community investment program, at her local parish St. Vincent De Paul and with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
While reflecting on her family’s immigration story, this is what she had to say:
I have a group of very close friends that are all, as we say, “foreign raised”. We were either born abroad or their parents immigrated to Canada and they were born shortly after. The bonds I have with these friends are kept together by the strong values that we were raised with: hard work, perseverance, humility, a bit of adventure, faith and most importantly gratitude.
A short while after I was born in Ghana, West Africa, my mom and I hopped on a plane to what would be our new home – Canada, a place where my father felt there would be exciting opportunities. In exchange for these opportunities they left all of their friends, family and everything they knew behind which was a very steep price to pay.
When I was around 5 years old my grandmother came for a visit that never ended and she became a Canadian citizen too! As my parents divorced when I was fairly young, my mom was my guiding light and continuously instilling those values of hard work, perseverance, humility, a bit of adventure, faith and gratitude. From the thought of her picking up and starting a new life with a small baby, to see her balance multiple jobs at once, I always remembered to never take the small things for granted because in the end they may all add up to something big. As I hit various milestones in life, I’m always most excited to tell my mom and to share it with her because without her sacrifices it wouldn’t be possible.
The things that made me shy as a kid– like having foreign middle names, or classmates wondering why the rice I ate was red, are the things that I’ve grown up to be proud to embrace. Our foreign parents definitely have hilarious quirks and never tire of telling you how far they had to walk when they were kids, but they’ve given us some incredible intangible gifts. So if you’re part of the “foreign raised” club, I hope you embrace all that the club membership has to offer you! I wear my badge proudly and the values of hard work, perseverance, humility, adventure, faith and gratitude are something I’ll never be able to thank my mother enough for giving me.