Interview with award-winner Pina Arcamone
The Montreal Community Cares Awards were unveiled on June 14th and reward those who make a difference in Montreal and the positive impact that they have on their community.
Citeeze asked a few questions to Pina Arcamone who received a Community Leader Award. Pina Arcamone is the director of The Missing Children's Network, a non-profit organization who assists parents in the search for their missing child, and to educate the public in order to decrease the likelihood of children disappearing.
Citeeze: You have received a Montreal Community Care Award for being a community leader. Do you consider you owe something to the city of Montreal?
Pina Arcamone: I was born and raised in Montreal and have lived in this vibrant city all my life! I have been privileged to live so many enriching experiences and having had numerous opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. I feel that I have made it my life to welcome families and children from all ethnicities and ensure that they too, can thrive in our beautiful city. I will continue to work on behalf of families and children, especially those families who are living every parent’s worst nightmare … a missing child. We also owe our children the opportunity to grow up in a world free from harm and fear.
Citeeze: What are the community challenges Montreal will face in the coming years? Do immigrant groups or communities take part in this challenge?
Pina Arcamone: Ensuring that our youth has a future. I am alarmed by the number of teens who run away from home; fall victim to exploitation, join gangs and drop-out of school. We must make it a priority to better understand the challenges that our youth is faced with and find innovative ways to reach out to them; instill confidence in their abilities; foster their self-esteem by offering the opportunities to experience success. As the child of immigrants, I understand some of the challenges that the ethnic communities face when they move to Montreal; we need to embrace our cultural differences.
Citeeze: What advice would you give to a young man or to a young woman who wants to get involved in his/her community?
P.A: Just simply, get involved! Find your niche, something that reflects your values and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe.
Citeeze: What are your thoughts on the "social" events which have been occurring in the student community?
P.A: This is a complex question that cannot be answered in a few sentences. Suffice to say that I firmly believe in freedom of speech, but that we conduct ourselves in a respectful manner at all times. There is no place for violence of any kind in our society. This is one thing that I simply will not tolerate.