From Jalandhar to Ottawa: A protégé’s story

In less than two years, Jaipreet Kaur has fulfilled her Canadian dream, thanks to a father’s wish, her own determination and AFP’s Future Launch Program, with RBC Royal Bank

Growing up in Jalandhar, a city of around a million people in Northern India, Jaipreet Kaur’s father was the protective type.

As a teenager, and into her early 20s, Jaipreet was never allowed to leave the city on her own. She did have a car, and she could go out, but always with a strict curfew. As the only girl, with two brothers, Jaipreet’s father always wanted the best for her.


Then suddenly, life completely changed.

Her father’s best friend told him how well his son was doing in Canada. Maybe Jaipreet should consider a similar move, he said.

“It was a bit of a shock to me. It was a shock to both of us. When the idea was given, my dad was not convinced a first,” Jaipreet recalls. “But in India, many parents want their children to achieve a better lifestyle and future in Canada.”

So at the age of 22, Jaipreet left her family’s home, the only country and city she had ever known, to start a new life in May 2018. She took advantage of study program being offered at Algonquin College. And while she already had a Bachelor of Science from India under her belt, the transition to Canadian life was not easy at first.

“Initially I cried a lot. I had never stayed anywhere away from home. My dad had nightmares for a long time,” she explains.

“The family I was staying with, as part of the program, was very nice. But I didn’t see them much. I had classes only on the weekends at first, and they worked during the weekdays. So it was lonely at first.”

As time went on, life did get better for the aspiring student.

Jaipreet continued to expand and enjoy her studies. She moved into a house with other students. She got a part-time job at Subway to help pay the bills. And she even got a Husky, named Titan.

But during a time of monumental change, perhaps the biggest opportunity was yet to come – the AFP Future Launch Program, in collaboration with RBC Royal Bank.

Earlier this spring, AFP Ottawa kicked off a new program in our nation’s capital to help expose young people to opportunities in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, offering them access to networking opportunities, skills training and even real-world work experience. Thanks to a donation from RBC, AFP Ottawa was able to offer young people in Ottawa free access to AFP Ottawa’s Fundraising Day, held every May, where each protégé is paired with a mentor, who is an experienced professional in the industry.

AFP Ottawa’s Fundraising Day is the premiere event in the city for fundraising professionals, bringing together hundreds of people to network, discuss best practices, and listen to educational sessions. Participants in the inaugural program also received ongoing access to AFP’s professional Development Series throughout the year.

Jaipreet was one of those protégés.

“I have always been interested in fundraising. And then, one of my friends, who had worked in event management and nonprofits, mentioned the opportunity to me. So that’s how I got the idea,” Jaipreet says.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Jaipreet made contact with her mentor prior to Fundraising Day in May, and at the event itself, she made a great impression on those around her. Her mentor, Jeff Todd, is Director of Communications at The Foundation WCPD, a Ottawa-based financial services company that helps high-net-worth donors give more to their favorite charities.

Todd suggested that Jaipreet come into the office for some part-time work over the summer. A few months later, her hard work and can-do attitude paid off. Jaipreet quit her job at Subway and accepted a full-time job at The Foundation WCPD.

From a town in Northern India, to the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Jaipreet says she could have never expected where would end up in less than two years, all thanks to a father’s wish, her own determination, and AFP Future Launch Program with RBC.

“So much has changed,” Jaipreet says. “One thing is constant – I do miss home. But I have a Canadian family now. I have a dog. I have a great job. I like being part of a company that helps people give back to society. You feel like you are doing something meaningful. I am just trying to explore, learn and see how I can progress and be better.”

Interested in applying to the AFP Future Launch Program? Stay tuned for further announcements on how you can apply in early 2020.


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