When Larissa initially arrived in Canada in 2006, she accessed employment counselling at CIWA. She then took an employment training program at Centre for Newcomers and completed her practicum with CIWA’s Finance Department. After completing her training in 2007, CIWA offered employment to Larissa as a Financial Assistant at CIWA. She then transitioned to a Financial Analyst role, and eventually to her current position, Financial Coordinator. Larissa has been with CIWA for 15 years.


“CIWA was my first and only job in Canada as I am planning to retire this year. I enjoyed working here and being a part of CIWA family for all these years.”

Larissa was trained to be an electronics/software engineer, but when she learned she could apply her software skills to accounting, she pursued it further. She loves math and enjoys assisting CIWA staff in determining the best ways to use funds to optimize quality and performance for clients.


“All these years I have been working with people who understand and support me. People that share their life experiences from different cultures and their Canadian experience as well.”

Larissa sympathizes with all immigrants who face difficulties such as language barriers, adjusting to a new nation and culture, finding educational opportunities for themselves and their children, and finding job. CIWA has a number of services that help immigrant women of all ages, education levels and employment backgrounds to overcome these obstacles.

“There is an opportunity to make friends from different countries, learn something new about the cultures and customs firsthand, and taste and learn how to cook delicious dishes from different countries.”

Larissa speaks Russian and enjoys yoga as well as hiking with her family.

To learn more about the services we provide to support immigrant women to get involved in the community and reach their full potential, click here.