Celebrating Social Work Month with Stories from our Team

The month of March is Social Work Month and we’d like to celebrate by sharing stories from some of our frontline social service team members who work hard every day to support community members. Each team member has their own story and reason why they were inspired to start working in the social service sector, and why they love what they do. Together, our entire team serves over 2,000 children, youth, and families annually; helping them build and maintain strong connections with family, friends, and their community, while providing them with the skills and resources to make positive long-lasting changes in their lives. Below are stories from a few of our dedicated team members who wanted to share the impact and importance of their work:

Mabel Reimer | Lead Clinician, Mental Health & Wellness

“Being a fellow human means that I know how hard life can be”

As a young adult I realized I loved hearing people’s stories, understanding where they came from and being a witness to their journey. A social worker also played an integral part in changing the course of my young adult life.

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Nathan Harriman | Transitions Worker, Youth Transitions to Adulthood Program

“My own experience has taught me that one positive person who believes in you can make a huge impact on a youth’s life”

I absolutely love helping people. It’s just something that’s always been in my heart, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. My own experience has taught me that one positive person who believes in you can make a huge impact on a youth’s life and that relationship can build a foundation for success for the rest of their life.

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Robyn Margeson | Program Supervisor, Manhattan Place (Boys Group Home)

“This work is not easy, but it is so important in building healthy people and healthy relationships in our community”

I always knew I wanted to be in the helping profession, and I originally thought my calling in life was to be a nurse. After about 3 weeks of grade 11 chemistry, I quickly realized nursing was not going to be the career path for me. I headed to university wanting to be a teacher, and then switched my focus to social work not long after, realizing the diversity and scope of jobs you can do in this field.

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Samuel Marroquin | Transition Specialist, James House

“Homelessness impacts us all. Each Calgarian is deserving of a safe and secure space to call home.”

Like many families, mine has had to access supports to deal with the ups/down of life. With the support of a Social Worker, we were connected with the right supports, encouraged to make connections with community, and assisted in creating change. Today, my family is made up of many Social Workers who are seeking to carry on this tradition of supporting others and building up our community.

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Marie Thiede | Kinship Facilitator, Kinnections Kinship Care Program

“People need people! And ALL people deserve support and help when they need it”

I’ve always felt a calling to help people and support them in achieving their full potential, which I think is essentially what all Social Work is all about. For me personally, after working with children and youth for many years, I became most passionate about supporting parents and caregivers in caring for their kids as well as they can.

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Keshia Bussue | Youth Worker, Manhattan Place (Boys Group Home)

“There are still biases and a lack of understanding from others on why some people struggle”

I work hard everyday because I desire to see others in more complex situations find stability. I am a huge advocate in giving other’s options and educating them on how they can change their lives.

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Ellen Zelinski | Kinship Facilitator, Kinnections Kinship Care Program

“Social work is a profession that seeks to continually evolve”

I chose social work because it aligned with my personal values of social justice and equity, it was a career where I could make a difference rather than a profit, and it is flexible with job opportunities. I like that I can work in several organizations that serve different populations and still gain experience that offers career growth.

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Marnie Johnston | Life Skills Facilitator

“I am continually inspired every day when I facilitate”

I came to McMan 28 years ago as a practicum student and worked with teens. During my practicum, I realized I really liked working with the teens! Then facilitating workshop on a small scale became part of my position. I actually did not choose facilitation; I believe it choose me. As a result, I began seeking out different training to support me to expand my facilitation skills.

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