Meet Jessica, 

Build ON Acting Director

Hello! My name is Jessica and I am the Acting Director for the YMCA-YWCA Build ON program. I grew up with a parent in the Canadian Forces and moved around a lot, but I still consider myself an East coaster! I love my job and my Y family. I was an Information and Referral Specialist at the YMCA-YWCA Newcomer Information Centre before joining the Build ON team. My ultimate enjoyment is to travel and experience different cultures and languages. I strongly believe everyone has an amazing story to tell and I’m looking forward to helping you with yours as you settle in Canada! 

Meet Christina

Build ON

Program Coordinator/Employment Consultant

Hello! My name is Christina Kaniewski and I am the Program Coordinator for Build ON. I was born and raised in the United States and came to Ottawa as a newcomer myself in 2016. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in education. Since moving to Canada, however, I have found a new passion in trying to help newcomers make their moves to Canada as seamless as possible. I look forward to meeting you and helping you with your transition to Canada!


Meet Kepreye,

Build ON Employment Consultant

Hello! My name is Kepreye Otrofanowei and I am an Employment Consultant with Build ON. I have always had a desire to help people but I’ve never been clear on what capacity I would do that. Here at Build ON I get to fulfil that desire by helping Newcomers prepare to integrate into Canada before they arrive. I know first-hand how daunting a move to a new country can be so I want to try to alleviate any stress/worries my clients may have before they arrive. 

Meet Adriana

Build ON Employment Consultant

Hello! My name is Adriana Bannan and I am an Employment Consultant with Build ON. I have been working with newcomers for 7+ years in ESL Programs in Ottawa. I hold a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Applied Language Studies with a Minor in American Sign Language. The topic of employment has always been a favorite of mine when I was teaching. Seeing my students successfully achieve their goals in finding employment or volunteer positions, has given me confidence in making the decision to pursue my niche and become a part of the  Build ON Program. With Build ON, I am excited to fulfill my passion in continuing to help newcomers prepare to make their transition into Canada, while providing them with advice on how to meet their goals and needs for future opportunities.

Meet Saunia,

Project Facilitator- Pre Arrival Mentoring 

In Partnership with Build On, OCISO pre-arrival mentoring helps newcomers destined to Ontario prepare for employment within their chosen field. As Project Facilitator, Saunia connects internationally trained professionals (Mentees) with Professionals (Mentors) who live and work in the province of Ontario. She provides one on one orientation sessions with mentees, clarifies long and short-term career goals and matches those who are eligible with a professional who will provide one on one mentoring support online.