Peer-led Program Tackles Challenges Faced By Newly-arrived Immigrant Students

Edmonton, AB – August 3, 2011 – Transition into high school can be quite challenging for many students, but for newly arrived immigrant students, the challenge is even greater. To ease their transition into Canadian high schools, In-School Settlement Services will be offering a Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) from August 23-25, 2011 (8:30a.m. – 3:30p.m.) at Queen Elizabeth High School (9425-132 Avenue) and St. Joseph Catholic High School (10830-109 Street).

NOW is a peer-led program in which students, who were once newcomer students themselves, mentor newly arrived immigrant students by sharing their experience of being a student in a new country and how they dealt with the challenges they faced.

“Newcomer immigrant students face many adjustment challenges such as cultural shock, language, and weather,” says Regional Program Coordinator Oliver Kamau, adding that the Newcomer Orientation program helps mitigate the challenges faced by students who have been in Canada for only a few weeks or months. “New relationships are established during the orientation and the ultimate goal is to have the newcomer students connect with peers who can help them navigate the school system once the school year starts.”

This is the first time Newcomer Orientation program is being offered at St. Joseph Catholic High School and the second year that the program will be at Queen Elizabeth High School.

The In-School Settlement Services (ISSS) Program connects newly arrived families with services and resources that will promote settlement and foster student achievement. The program uses a coordinated approach to service delivery among partnering settlement agencies and school districts in Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie with funding from Citizenship & Immigration Canada. For more information about the program, visit

For more information about NOW or to schedule an interview contact Kristina de Guzman at or Oliver Kamau at 780-474-8445 or


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