“There’s various categories, always immigrants, which I am not. An exception was made for me. I was the recipient of the Workplace Diversity Immigrant Achievement Award. That has to do with, I guess, the good work I do through the Member of Parliament’s office with assisting immigrants,” said Valin, who works with MP Jim Hillyer’s Lethbridge riding office. Valin has also won the Coaldale and District Chamber of Commerce Business Person Award in the past and worked for Sunny South News for many years.
At first, Valin said, she was very surprised when she found out she would be receiving the award. “I know that this is an immigrant award and the whole context of the Immigrant Achievement Awards is very distinguished because it’s all immigrants and there’s categories like Distinguished Professional, Outstanding Youth, Achievement in Business, Achievement in Community Service, Achievement in Arts and Culture,” noted Valin.
Valin said for some of the recipients over the past five years — who arrived in Canada and the Lethbridge area with no language skills, some with limited or possibly no education and the successes that they have had — is phenomenal.
“It’s really humbling to receive such an award because of the fact most people that have received these awards have surmounted incredible hardship, wars, refugee camps and then they’ve arrived in Canada. They’ve truly embraced their life in Canada by participating, embracing community and giving back,” said Valin.