Jean Roberth Souza

The power of social media to connect newcomers

“Jean Roberth Souza makes a difference as a very active volunteer within Ottawa’s Brazilian community,” says Priscila Gondim Alves. “He has assisted many newcomers to Ottawa, including myself, with his knowledge, goodwill, friendship and generosity of spirit. He has made this city a much better place to live with more opportunities for all.”

Jean Roberth emigrated from Brazil a decade ago and is a successful Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professional. Through his numerous contributions to a Brazilian community Facebook page with more than 6,000 followers, he has guided many newcomers to helpful information about job fairs, specialized newcomer services, employment support programs, language training, as well as tourism, hospitality and free cultural activities. Jean Roberth has also worked for a special immigration project aimed at attracting internationally educated professionals to work in the ICT sector in Canada.

“I know from my own experience, when you arrive in a new city and country, it’s difficult at first,” says Jean Roberth. “When I came to Ottawa 10 years ago, social media didn’t really exist and as a newcomer you need information quickly about services, including those offered by settlement agencies.”

“The first work I found two years ago in Ottawa was due to a job fair announcement Jean Roberth had posted on the Brazilian community group Facebook page,” explains Priscila. “Being a newcomer, even with a law degree, it was challenging to find a job. That job was very special because it represented my first Canadian professional experience and I learned a lot with it. Nevertheless, that job was, in fact, the bridge to take me one step higher and I received an offer to work for an international manufacturer of luxury items.”

“I confess that when I first heard about Ottawa, people told me that it would be a boring place to live,” adds Priscila. “On the contrary, Ottawa is an absolutely vibrant, friendly and welcoming city, full of opportunities for those who want to study and work hard to have a new and prosperous life. Jean Roberth helped me break this stereotype.”

“I am very honoured to be recognized as a Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador,” says Jean Roberth. “My dream is to create a more united Brazilan community through social media.” It is estimated that close to 2,000 Brazilians live in the national capital region and of these, 500 are international students.