"Moving back to Canada was the most challenging and exciting adventure I have ever taken. Building a new life in a new country takes a deep commitment, and internationally relocating twice has been uniquely challenging. Enjoying a beautiful childhood in St.Catharines, and a fascinating adulthood in London, England for 13 years has made me feel that I am of both cultures. I was fortunate to practice law in London, England for seven years. I never dreamed I would move back to St.Catharines in 2018 as a newly single mum whose lawyer qualification was not valid outside of England and Wales. It took intense determination to move back to my childhood home knowing I would have to rebuild my entire life. Some days I doubted I would ever be able to achieve my highly ambitious goal of becoming a lawyer of Ontario as well as being committed to being a present, loving mum to both of my children and leaving behind a life in London.
I have faced intense challenges over the past few years. Studying for seven law school equivalency exams and the bar exam whilst raising two children alone kept me very busy. I had to read 2000 pages of study materials for the bar exam. My son understood I was studying to help build a better life for us, and would ask me each night before his bedtime how many pages I had managed to read that day. At first, I did my best studying once my children were in bed, often until after midnight. Over time, I learned to expertly multitask and work efficiently. I am grateful to have passed all of my exams on the first attempt. If it weren’t for my mum helping me with childcare and giving me constant support and encouragement, I would not have been able to succeed.
I am proud to watch my children flourish here in Canada. Even now, I work daily to improve our life here. The three of us are still settling in after nearly three years in St.Catharines but we feel more and more at home here everyday. I could not be more grateful to be here and I am optimistic and hopeful about our adventure in Canada carrying on and taking us to unimaginable new heights. Step bravely into the unknown and believe your path will lead you to achieving your goals, no matter how unattainable they may seem."
Sarah has since volunteered with the Niagara Folk Arts Mentorship program as a group facilitator assisting newcomers like herself adjust to life in Canada.