Start to Build Your Way Up
You may know Cam’s story already. If you live in Hamilton’s Ward 9, where Cam ran for city council as a 19 year old, you know his story. If you’re part of McMaster University, where Cam is a student leader, you know it as well. If you have connections to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hamilton & Burlington, or any number of other organizations and committees where Cam devotes his time, you know his story. And of course, if you’re part of the United Way Halton & Hamilton family, Cam’s story is one you know well.
Cam came to Canada as a refugee when he was seven years old. He and his family faced the same challenges as many new Canadians. “You start at the bottom,” he says. “You have nothing, but you slowly start to build your way up.” While Cam’s family was adapting to its new home, his mother found help in a United Way-supported organization that connected Cam to a mentor. “Without the mentoring I received,” Cam recalls, “I would not be who I am today, and I don’t think I would have gone as far as I have.”
In 2017, Cam completed his honours degree in political science and became the first university graduate in his family. Thanks to scholarships and support Cam discovered through United Way, he will also begin his professional life debt free. As Cam works for the City of Hamilton and looks toward a future in public service and possibly even politics, he says, “It’s hard for me to think about where I’d be without the United Way. I am eternally thankful.”