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Connecting youth with their dream jobs

Nivethan “Navy” Amirthalingam was three years old in 1996 when he fled war-tornSri Lanka to start a new life in Canada with his family. Their story was marked by thecolossal challenges typical for so many refugees—leaving behind family, friends, jobsand their homeland in search of safety, having to start over in a foreign land.

“My parents were very hard working. They instilled those values into me,” Navy says.

After graduating from Jarvis Collegiate high school, he enrolled at York University,studying financial and business economics. He graduated with honours, but when hebegan looking for a job, he was unsuccessful.

“School taught me all the theory and made me think bigger, but it didn’t prepare mefor the reality of looking for work, “Navy, now 24, says. “It was really, really competitive.It was tough…I talked to people in my community about how to look for work and that’show I started with netWORKS.

”It was at an RBC-hosted, United Way netWORKS event earlier this year whereNavy met his mentor and eventually landed a co-op position with RBC’s technologyand operations department.

“I didn’t have a platform to go out and meet people from different industries.United Way and the netWORKS program give youth, like myself, the opportunity togo out there and find a passion, find what they want to do, and make it easier tonavigate the job market.”

*Reproduced with permission from the Toronto Star