Nelson Melgar Honoured by Local Latin American Community
International Services representative Nelson Melgar (right), has received the first annual Latino Leadership award. The award, sponsored by London's Magazine Latino, recognizes leadership contributions to the local Latino community.
Melgar, who has worked at the College for the past 12 years, is the Latin
American specialist for Fanshawe's International Services office. He regularly
travels to Latin America and the Caribbean to recruit and market Fanshawe College
to prospective international students.
However, Melgar attributes the award to his work here at home.
In addition to promoting Fanshawe internationally, Melgar also assists local immigrants as they adjust to life in London. By providing advice and referrals, he assists the immigrant community, most often those who are Spanish-speaking, with issues that range from employability to parenting.
"People get to know me," Melgar said, noting the majority of his work is still focused on education. "They have a contact here at Fanshawe for any educational need that they have." Melgar helps mainly by referring callers to the right people within the College.
Although Latin American culture is his specialty, Melgar also assists people from other immigrant communities, including the local Hindu and Muslim communities. He is often the first contact people have as they begin their new life in Canada.
"They want to talk to me because somebody gave them my name and they don't want to talk to anybody else."
That may be because he has a first-hand understanding of their experiences. Melgar is an immigrant himself, having come to Canada from El Salvador in 1993.
His first contact with Fanshawe came when he enrolled to study English as a Second Language. He returned the favour by teaching Spanish courses part-time since 1997. In 2006, Melgar joined the team in International Services and began recruiting international students.
"Nelson has been a great asset to our team and to Fanshawe College. His passion for education and his genuine interest in international students make him an excellent representative of the values of Fanshawe College everywhere he travels," said Wendy Curtis, Manager of International Partnerships. "He is particularly sensitive to the unique needs of parents who are entrusting their children to Fanshawe. Nelson represents the human side of what makes Fanshawe such a memorable and productive experience for all students."
Jose Rey, owner and editor of Magazine Latino, said Melgar was one of 14 Londoners recognized for their contributions to the Latino community. He described Melgar as a dedicated and hard-working community leader.
Magazine Latino, with a circulation of 10,000 copies, is published in London every 15 days.