Before immigrating to Canada, Yam was already a practising lawyer in her native Philippines and in New York, becoming one of Asia’s first internet lawyers.
But Yam and her husband made the difficult decision to leave their friends, family and successful careers behind to raise their two children in a better environment. “Being Canadian means being a citizen of one of the most diverse and inclusive countries on the planet,” she says. “It means having a shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal and that we have the power to define our lives as we so wish.”
But, in the beginning, Yam could not find a job — even as a legal secretary. “It was a lonely, humbling, confusing and dark phase.” But the Law Society of Ontario then recognized her credentials, and she was admitted to practise law in Ontario and Alberta.
The RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards is a peoples’ choice awards program that recognizes inspirational immigrants who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada. As the first Canadian national award program, the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards recognizes the achievements of all immigrants including community advocates, volunteers, successful entrepreneurs, cultural icons.