Suh (Sam) Daesug arrived in Saint John on Christmas Day seven years ago with the hopes of a more relaxing life. 

“In Korea, there is too much work for adults and too much studying for students,” he said. “Here my children can play sports and receive an education. There is a balance in life.” 

To achieve that, Sam had to make some major changes in his life. To begin he needed to find a new career. Although he had worked in Korea’s financial industry his qualifications were not accepted in Canada. He needed to learn new skills and a new language – all in a new and unfamiliar country.

To help him achieve his goals he came to the Y’s Newcomer Connections’ Centre.  

“I worked during the night and came to the Y during the day to learn English,” said Sam, whose first job was as a baker at Sobeys. “I went from English classes to employment training at the Y. During training, I realized I needed to get another job and began working as a cook.” 

Sam successfully completed English classes and employment training programs at the Y, while working two jobs. He then studied accounting at NBCC and took a job working for Ganongs in St. Stephen.
 
“For 12 months I did the commute,” he said. Eventually Sam decided to branch out on his own, purchasing a gas station on the city’s West Side.

From working two jobs and studying, to running his business and being involved in the community, Sam and his family are enjoying their life in Saint John. 

“At first, I was very afraid to run a business but looking back now I realize the Y not only helped me learn English, I also gained confidence through the Y's Employment Training program to run my business today.”