Ottawa, Jan. 22, 2018 – Canadian educators now have a new resource to help refugee and newcomer youth. Launched today, the guide will enable schools to deliver more culturally responsive career guidance and better integrate the growing number of newcomer and refugee students who have lived through the trauma of war, family separation and loss. It was released at the Cannexus National Career Development Conference in Ottawa where more than 1,000 career educators and counsellors have gathered.

Authored by The University of Winnipeg’s Dr. Jan Stewart and Dr. Lorna Martin, Bridging Two Worlds: Supporting Newcomer and Refugee Youth provides teachers, school administrators and counsellors with practical resources to help students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 navigate school and connect it to careers and their future.

“Many of these students struggle to fit into classrooms, and too many drop out,” says Dr. Stewart, a professor in the faculty of education and an internationally recognized expert on children who have been affected by trauma. “This book is about understanding the unique needs of newcomer and refugee youth and making school more meaningful to them.”

According to the 2016 Census, almost 2.2 million children under the age of 15 were foreign-born (first generation) or had at least one foreign-born parent. In 2018, the Government of Canada plans to admit a further 310,000 immigrants, of which 46,500 will be refugees. This follows Canada’s record resettlement of Syrian refugees over the past two years, with just under half aged 17 and younger. Statistics Canada predicts that children with an immigrant background could represent between 39 per cent and 49 per cent of the total population of children by 2036.

The book grew out of a three-year research program led by Dr. Stewart that investigated schools, settlement agencies and communities in Calgary, Winnipeg and St. John’s in order to build a database of best practices to share with educators, as well as policymakers. The research found that refugee and newcomer youth need more assistance with career choices and understanding the impact of course choices on their future career trajectories. With complications arising because of psychosocial issues (e.g., trauma from war, loss of parents, forced migration), interrupted learning or language barriers, students faced additional obstacles. Teachers and counsellors also reported they did not feel fully equipped to deal with these diverse needs.

“This book really reflects the Canadian spirit of cultural diversity and inclusivity,” says Riz Ibrahim, Executive Director of CERIC, funder and publisher of the guide. “It recognizes the different experiences of newcomer youth and the different career education supports they need to be successful.”

Bridging Two Worlds offers data-informed curriculum development and instructional ideas. The guide focuses on preparing and training teachers and counsellors to work with newcomer and refugee children and youth in the regular classroom. It includes 30 teacher and counsellor development lessons and more than 90 lessons to use with students from elementary to secondary school.

The guide is available for sale ($28.99) at or or can be downloaded for free at

Key times for the book launch on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, Shaw Centre, Ottawa:

  • 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Book signing with Dr. Stewart and Dr. Martin
  • 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.: Dr. Stewart and Dr. Martin present “Refugee Integration: Career Development, Settlement and Psychosocial Support”
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Meet the authors at a book launch celebration during the wine & cheese reception
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Delegates attending the Cannexus conference can pick up their complimentary copies of the book

To arrange an interview, obtain a media pass or for more information, please contact:

Sharon Ferriss
Director, Marketing, Web & New Media, CERIC | 647.466.0564

Diane Poulin
Senior Communications Specialist, University of Winnipeg | 204.293.1167

Media Backgrounder and Author Bios.


CERIC is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development, in order to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians. It funds projects to develop innovative resources that build the knowledge and skills of diverse career professionals; annually hosts Cannexus, Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference; and publishes the country’s only peer-reviewed academic journal, Canadian Journal of Career Development.

About The University of Winnipeg

Located on Treaty One land, in the heart of the Métis homeland, The University of Winnipeg is surrounded by one of the most ethnically diverse communities in Canada. We proudly reflect this reality with our 10,000 students. Approximately 9.5 per cent self-identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit. A further 28 per cent of our students self-identify as racialized, including refugees and war-affected youth.