Creating a New Life in Cape Breton: Meet Lefin Chacko

When Lefin Chacko was working in Saudi Arabia he was employed by some of the largest companies in the world, such as Dow Chemicals and Siemens. For some, this might be a dream come true, but for Lefin, something was missing. He was not happy to be away from his family and felt he couldn’t live life the way he wanted in such a busy place. Realizing this, Lefin and his family started researching areas where they could build the life they dreamed of, and Canada turned out to be just the place.

The next step for Lefin was finding a program that would be relevant to his field and lead to full-time employment following graduation. He already had an MBA and Bachelor of Engineering, so when he discovered the Bachelor of Engineering Technology – Electronics and Controls offered at Cape Breton University, Lefin knew CBU was the right choice.

The rest is history. Lefin travelled to Canada on his own, enrolled in the BET program at CBU in 2021 and enjoyed his studies greatly. What he didn’t realize was the immense love for CBU and the Cape Breton community that would develop as he pursued his degree. Lefin immediately became involved in campus and community life, even taking on the special role of becoming the Caper mascot. It wasn’t long before he knew Cape Breton was where he wanted to bring his family to start the next chapter of their life.

Making his way to a new country and working through his degree without his family was not easy, but Lefin worked hard and persevered. “I’ve worked my way up from delivering papers and working in retail to finally finding my career as an engineer,” says Lefin. “Sometimes in life, you have to be patient, not everything will be handed to you, but if you dream it and work hard, you can achieve it.”

Lefin says every job he held, every obstacle he overcame and every challenge he learned from led him to where he is today, settled in Cape Breton with his wife Ansha and daughter Esperanza. “That all led me to where I am today,” he shares. “I did not give up. I knew Cape Breton was where I wanted to live and I was ready to do all I could to make a life here.”

Lefin is now employed as a Project Coordinator/Engineer, handling all of the Mechanical and Electrical works at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital (CBRH) Expansion project. His wife and daughter moved to Cape Breton in 2022, and the family has since bought a house and truly made Cape Breton their home.

“The people here are so caring and helpful, both in the community and at CBU. I have made so many connections that I am so thankful for,” says Lefin. “I’m still having new experiences here and that will never end. I have many things to show my wife and daughter. The beauty of the Island and the quality of the people here.”

Lefin graduated from CBU in 2022, but stays connected to the University, still suiting up as the Caper, serving as a member of the program advisory committee for the CBU Engineering department and helping students wherever he can. “I think our Island is growing especially with the medical campus, CBRH expansion and new NSCC campus downtown,” says Lefin. “I love being a tiny part of it.”