Ocean Luo

Ocean Luo

Few Oceans have this much depth

Ocean Luo is the cover story of the 2019 Community Impact magazine. Community Impact is a complete guide to NorQuest students, graduates, programming, and more. Read the Community Impact magazine here.

He came to NorQuest College to tune up his English skills and left with the confidence to transform communities. Today, he is the City of Edmonton’s community planner. This is the story of Ocean Luo.
Luo immigrated to Canada from China in 2011 and graduated from the college’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program (LINC) a year later.

“LINC was more than just an English language class,” he reflects. “We learned so much about Canadian society and history. Everyone in my class came from a different cultural background.”

With diversity at the forefront of his new college, it was top-of-mind for Luo.

“NorQuest taught me what diversity means. It’s not just age or gender or ethnic background. It’s the stories of people’s lives.”

That inspired him to ponder what his real interests were.

“I began to really think about how I could contribute to my new country.”

Fascinated by what he learned about Indigenous Peoples in Canada through LINC, Luo first completed a degree in Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

“In China I would be considered an Indigenous person, since I am Miao, an ethnic group from South China. I knew nothing about Indigenous history in North America, but I really wanted to learn more. After completing the degree, I felt better equipped to achieve more in society.”

He then completed a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. Following graduation, he was compelled to call Edmonton home again due to the city’s sense of community.

As a community champion, Luo is living his dream. With the values of people and diversity inspired by NorQuest College, his focus is building a community on a social level.
“Whether you have lived here 50 years or five months, people want to contribute to their community and have a voice,” he says.

“NorQuest taught me to think differently and to respect different ideas and perspectives. This was very important for my professional development, but also my personal life. My experience at NorQuest College has definitely informed the work I’m doing today.”