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Filipinos complete the Booth University College's Community Capacity Building Program

    with Malaya
MLA Malaya Marcelino with graduate Joanne Viviezca and guests. L-r: MLA Malaya Marcelino, Art Fernandez, Joanne Viviezca, Baby Green and Dr. Mariciel Nuyda, Dean, School for Continuing Studies
The graduates who were awarded the Booth University College’s Community Capacity Building Program. Front row, l-r: Daniel Swaka, Mirwais Nasiri, Dr. Mariciel Nuyda (Dean, School for Continuing Studies), Mahendra Adhikari. Back row, l-r: Grace Mweresa, Joanne Viviezca, Hermina Tipan, Pearl Largo, Ernesto Ofiaza Jr., Daisy Mendez, Roselyn Advincula

Seven Filipinos were among a diverse group of students who completed Booth University College’s Community Capacity Building Program, one of Booth UC’s program offerings. The awarding of certificates was held during Booth University College’s 2023 Spring Convocation and Conferring of Degrees, held Sunday afternoon, April 30, 2023, at the Knox United Church in Downtown Winnipeg. MLAs Malaya Marcelino (Notre Dame) and Uzuma Asagwara (Union Station) graced the occasion with their greetings and exaltations to the graduating class.

The Filipinos who were awarded the Community Capacity Building (CCB) Certificates are:

  • Roselyn Advincula
  • Pearl Jobelle Largo
  • Daisy Mendez
  • Ernesto Ofiaza Jr.
  • Hermina Tipan
  • Khristine Marie Villanueva
  • Joanne Viviezca

"Congratulations to all! We salute you for your continued commitment to the communities you serve and for empowering the communities to help one another," said Dr. Mariciel Nuyda, Dean of School for Continuing Studies.

The CCB program was offered through the School for Continuing Studies (SCS) at Booth University College. It was created in conjunction with Simon Fraser University (SFU) and is a five-course, 20-week program designed to empower people who have a vision to make a difference in their respective communities. With the non-traditional student in mind, a balance between theoretical concepts and practical knowledge was sought. Moreover, student supports such as childcare funding and connections to social services were integrated in the program to ensure student success.

This pilot run saw 22 graduates who come from various backgrounds, provinces across Canada, ethnicity and community organizations. Some of them are involved with Indigenous youth, immigrant and refugees, educators, and other community groups who support marginalized populations. This mix created a diverse and multicultural learning community.

An enriching and hands-on student experience was made through connections with guest speakers who are experts in fields such as storytelling, intercultural competence, grant writing, project management and Indigenous knowledge. Furthermore, networks were established with various community partners to enable the students to work alongside them to identify and assess community needs and longings. The students then worked on plans for their respective projects, presented and implemented the projects and evaluated their community initiatives. Some of these projects included mental health services, a food bank for a community centre, a day out for single mothers and a multicultural event to promote unity.

Here is what some of the graduates had to say about their experience and the impact the program had on them:

“I was able to explore the Sense of Belonging as a crucial part in newcomer settlement and integration. Because of this, I realized that we can spread this concept and even make a campaign to let everyone know the value of being kind, inclusive, and open. I am hoping this the Sense of Belonging project will generate more community leaders and volunteers that will create a positive impact in the community.” – Roselyn Advincula-

“My Interview Shoe Project gave me the opportunity to look back at my early stages as an immigrant. I encountered a Good Samaritan who bailed me out of a winter storm as I was on my way to a job interview. I believe it was his kindness and the message to be myself at the interview that got me the job and not the confidence that I believed the pair of shoes brought. More importantly, the program gave me the confidence to stand up for myself especially when things do not sit right. Because of this, I did not let an opportunity for a better workplace slip away.” – Daisy Mendez-

“Booth University College had provided me a clearer perspective of my role as a change agent here in Canada - as a settlement worker, and as an advocate. I have learned the importance of acknowledging and respecting our roots — the elders and their teachings - to serve as a strong foundation and source of strength, and inspiration for all future endeavors.”– Ernesto Ofiaza, Jr.-

“The program made me appreciate the role of The Salvation Army beyond thrift shops, emergency disaster reliefs and food banks. More than getting a certificate in Community Capacity Building, exposure to Booth University College’s ethos gave me the perspective of how a faith-based education can help transform the Downtown and bring hope to a hurting world. The change that we all desire is possible if we take the first step to move forward.” – Joanne Viviezca-

For information about the Community Capacity Building program and other programs at Booth UC, please visit