My interest in SocialWork blossomed through the amazing guidance of my high school social worker andmentor Imani Hennie. Imani had witnessed my struggle through overcomingmultiple transitional age challenges and unique barriers as a first generationCanadian and woman of colour.

As a teenager I didn’t have many people to confinein about my life, my parents had sacrificed all their time in ensuring thatthey provided my siblings and I with the basic necessities to live. I amgrateful for Imani because she was my supportive ear in times of my teenagecrisis; she consistently reminded me of my maturity, resilience and innerstrength. Imani’s professional integrity and person-centered approach toservice demonstrated to me the value of social workers in society. Her service persuadedme to pay it forward and obtain my diploma in social services focusing on immigrantand refugee issues and policies. The first semester of college, I was enrolledin Diversity Awareness and Practice course which detailed how systemic barriersshape people’s access to political, social, material, human rights and personalresources. The course assisted in opening my eyes to the social injustices ofunmerited privileges and the importance of anti-oppression practice andself-awareness.

The course taught me a lot about the world and about myself; itaffirmed my interests to build in the social services profession and to take onthe rewarding and challenging duty of advocating for equity and change.Since graduating college, I have developed a keeninterest in mental health case management. Through completing a mental healthpeer support worker certificate course and an applied suicide interventiontraining I’ve developed a knowledge of applying a person centred approach  These courses helped me perform my role ofproviding one-one peer support to with the City of Toronto’s Community HealingProject.

 My volunteer and training experiencewith the City of Toronto’s Community Healing Project helped me develop a keeninterest in mental health case management. I led activities and conversationsabout mental wellness, trauma, healing, and self-care with a group of most vulnerableyouth between the ages of 13-29. 

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