A world in which immigration status is not a barrier to accessing meaningful and equitable education.


Who We Are

The Sanctuary Students Solidarity and Support Collective (S4) was formed in the fall of 2018 to address several challenges identified by precarious migrant and newcomer students (Sanctuary Students) at the threshold of post-secondary education in Ontario.


Sanctuary Students, for us, are people for whom immigration status and/or settlement stressors act, or have acted, as a barrier to accessing their secondary and post-secondary goals.

Our main objectives are to support Sanctuary Students with navigating various levels of education in Ontario; and to support programs and institutions to increase equitable access for these populations. As such, the group works to identify and respond to ongoing and emerging barriers that prevent the full and equitable participation of Sanctuary Students in existing educational institutions. Youth participating in the collective have described feeling more connected, supported and equipped with important knowledge and skill-sets. While we continue to grow, we recognize that there is a long road ahead...

Board of Director​s

Amy Soberano

Amy Soberano is a Registered Social Worker and has been working with sanctuary students as a front-line counselor in community-based settings since 2012. Her clinical work is focused at the intersections of migration, trauma, and identity, and she has published, consulted and taught at the post-secondary level around these topics. Amy strives to approach her therapeutic practice as politicized allyship work, through an evolving lens of intersectionality, tenderness, humility, and anti-oppression.

Philip Ackerman

Philip has long been an adult educator who has been committed to working with newcomer youth in a wide range of community settings. He has been a strong advocate of access to education for newcomer and migrant youth, supporting several academic and community-based interventions around this issue over the past decade. More recently, since graduating from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) with an M.Ed in Adult Education and Community Development, Philip has been the Program Coordinator of the Social Service Worker: Immigrants and Refugees Program at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. In addition, he is currently the Toronto coordinator for Equitas, supporting human rights-based education for marginalized groups of young people across Canada. 


Tanya Aberman

Tanya Aberman has been working to increase access to education for sanctuary students in different capacities for over five years. She has developed and coordinated community and university-based access to education programs, working with academic and community stakeholders, while focusing on and prioritizing the experiences and needs of sanctuary students. She has also co-authored several pieces based on the need for increased access to education. Tanya has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Concordia University, an MA from the University of Sussex in Gender and Development, and a PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies from York University.

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