Dr. Josephine Enero Pallard is the eldest of eight children born to a working class Catholic family in Baguio City, Philippines. She learned generosity and caring for others from her mother; and the importance of defending her beliefs and integrity from her father. As a young child growing up in the Philippines, she developed a solid foundation of her Catholic Faith from her parents and from the French and Belgian Missionary Priests and Nuns of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (CICM). This strong up-bringing led her to continue dedicating her passion to help others. She became increasingly aware of the atrocities, poverty and social injustice in the country.
In 1967, as a young adult, Josephine chose to emigrate to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to further her education and to live in a country where she believed that there is hope and opportunity for all. Eventually, she was able to bring her whole family to join her new life in a new-found home, Edmonton. From 1970 to 1975, she attended the University of Alberta earning a Bachelor’s Degree and a Post- Graduate Diploma in Education. Through a scholarship, she completed her Master’s Degree in Education from San Francisco State University, California, USA. For 38 years, Josephine taught Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the public school system, Alberta Vocational Centre, now, Norquest College; Grant MacEwan College, and University of Alberta. Presently, she is teaching ESL (English as a Second Language), EAL (English for Adult learning) and IELTS ( International English Language Testing System ) to the immigrant/refugee/newcomer women at Changing Together.. A Centre for Immigrant Women.
In 1979, responding to Archbishop Joseph MacNeil’s appeal to sponsor refugees from Vietnam, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Middle East, Josephine accepted the challenge of becoming the Chairperson of St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Parish‘s Mission and Immigration Committee. As Chair of the Committee for 35 years together with the help and collaborative efforts of Catholic Social Services, Josephine and her team were able to sponsor over 500 refugees settle and integrate into Canadian Society as they build resilience and self-reliance.
Amazingly, Josephine still has time to actively volunteer with her Filipino Community, especially The Filipino – Canadian Saranay Association of Alberta, whose major programs are the Youth, Adult, Senior Rondalla and Performing Arts; Filipino Language and Culture School of Edmonton; Building Bridges between Youth and Seniors through Mentorship, and International Ambassadors’ Educational and Musical Engagement Travels in the Preservation, Retention and, Propagation of Filipino Arts, Culture and Heritage.
The following are some highlights of her achievements:
1. She is a laureate/recipient of many PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS, namely:
• Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award – 2013
• University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour Award -2010
• Citation of Citizenship Award, Government of Canada – 2008
• RISE (Recognition of Immigrant Services of Excellence) Award – 2007
• Worker in the Vineyard Award – Western Catholic Reporter – 2007
• GEM Award – Outstanding Community Services – 2007
• Dr. of Sacred Letters ( Honoris Causa ) – 2007
• Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of Person’s Case (The Famous 5) – 2004
• Outstanding Award on the Preservation & Retention of Heritage Languages in Schools & Communities – 1988
2. Founder/ Founding Member of the following:
• International & Heritage Languages Association (formerly – Alberta Ethnic Language Teachers Association) – 1978
• The Filipino – Canadian Saranay Association of Alberta – 1979
• Alberta Society for Philippines Ethno-Cultural Teachers – 1980
• Kabataang Filipino Language School – 1982
• Changing Together.. A Centre for Immigrant Women – 1984
• Filipino Language and Culture School of Edmonton – 2006
Dr. Josephine Enero Pallard’s tireless work has clearly demonstrated that with dedication, hard work, and deep sense of religious, civic, and social responsibilities, immigrant women such as herself can help build a nation that values individual, family and community as citizens of Canada. She is an educator, advocate, volunteer, humanitarian and community leader, a devoted family member and a role model for all newcomers to Canada. She is married to Raymond for 45 years, they have a daughter, a son-in – law and a granddaughter. Her husband is a great support who believes in “paying forward ‘for whatever kindness received.