I’m always impressed by the connectedness of the Windsor Essex community, honouring and respecting diversity, embracing the discomfort that comes with identifying the need for change, and breaking down barriers to realize change. This is why I accepted the invitation to participate in the WE Value initiative, without hesitation, and why I would encourage others to support this work in any possible way.

For me, the WE Value initiative exemplifies the collective efforts of the WE LIP over the past decade, to bring community members and organizations together as one planning body for positive change. Even for those who are born and raised in Canada, our health, education and social systems can be very challenging to understand and navigate, causing individuals to ‘fall through the cracks’ and great resources to be underutilized.

Personally, and professionally, I have experienced the processes to immigration, orientation and settlement as well as system challenges along the way. This collaboration at the level of planning allows me the opportunity
to contribute to positive changes, removing barriers that place additional stress onto new immigrants who are deserving of a warm welcome and a feeling of inclusion and empowerment.

WE Value will streamline the process for newcomers to receive an individualized assessment, and will facilitate access to the most appropriate and helpful resources that are closest to home. Another great benefit to our
community is the shift toward having multiple agencies across multiple sectors, working together seamlessly so that it is apparent to the client that they have a whole team behind them and putting them at the center of it all. It is a privilege for me to have a very small part in creating this movement to more coordinated efforts and ultimately, a more welcoming Windsor Essex.


Sarah May Garcia




* Sarah May war formerly with the Erie-St Clair LHIN and is now with Ontario Health West