Outstanding Graduate in Business
Carla Paiva triOS College Business Technology Healthcare Carla Paiva’s story is one of resilience to failure and characterized by her perseverance and pure optimism to be successful in life despite all odds. Carla was born and raised in Açores Islands, Portugal. She was raised and taught by nuns and priests in an orphanage that sheltered abandoned children and abused mothers. While living in this environment, Carla had to learn and mature fast as being a “normal” child was not possible in these circumstances.
At 14, a call from Canada changed her life. Her biological father reached out to her and in the same year invited her to visit Canada. A year later, in 1999, Carla immigrated from Açores Islands to Canada. It was extremely challenging to adapt to a new country and the language as she could not read, write or speak English. She started ESL schooling at Turner Fenton Secondary School. English was not her strength, so she read books, listened to music and spoke only in English. Needless to say, many times people laughed when she spoke. Carla laughed with them knowing that one day she would overcome, as hard as it was!
While trying to finish high school, Carla had to work four part-time jobs in order to support herself and survive. She graduated with grades in the high 90s, and Carla was also nominated to receive her first achievement award. Life moved on and Carla got married, however, after 10 years had to go through a painful divorce. As a mother of two boys, life was tough again - this time as a single mother without a job or adequate finances. She struggled, feeling stuck and afraid of not being able to give her