Tikinagan employees celebrate graduation

Posted: July 26th, 2018

Butch Magashazi and Angie Williams both work at Tikinagan Child and Family Services. They both love their jobs and helping children and families. And now, they both hold a diploma in Social Service Worker-Native Specialization from Oshki-Pimache-O-Win and Sault College. They both joined many other proud graduates at the graduation ceremony on June 7. And they both have proud supervisors and a team of people behind them at Tikinagan cheering them on.

The two-year educational journey for Williams and Magashazi wasn’t easy, but they feel the hard work paid off.

“It was challenging, to do this program and balance work and life at the same time, but in the end it is all worth it” says Magashazi. Magashazi’s educational journey may not be over, as he is interested in looking at a degree program for social work. “I would really like to pursue this, because I never expected that I would have done this well. Most of all though, I will keep working with Tikinagan to gather more experience and continue to serve the northern communities with this education that I have received.”

“The program is very fulfilling,” adds Williams. “I had a lot of positive responses from my instructors. They said I was a natural born people-person with a lot of life experience. But, I went back to school so that I can get more educated and feel more confident in what I do to help families,” she explains.

The diploma program is a partnership between the two educational facilities and is set up so that students like Magashazi and Williams can keep working during the process. Tikinagan offers an educational support program to employees that have been with the agency for at least three years, which meant that both employees got the financial and time management support they needed to be successful.

“I would really like to thank everyone at Tikinagan that have encouraged me to keep on going when I was at my lowest and wanting to quit,” says Magashazi, who was also a recipient of Oshki’s 2018 Governing Medal for academic excellence, having achieved a 4.0 grade average. “I also want to thank my family for supporting me when the help was needed, all my friends who stayed by my side offering words of encouragement, my classmates, and the teachers at Oshki.”

Williams also wants to thank those who supported her during the last two years. “I want to thank Tikingan for allowing me this opportunity to learn more. This piece of paper gives me more confidence,” she says.

Magashazi and Williams are Family Services Workers at Tikinagan. Magashazi is currently based out of Sioux Lookout and serves Mishkeegogamang, Saugeen, and Savant Lake. Williams is based out of Red Lake and serves Pikangikum.

“We’re proud of Butch and Angie, and all of our employees who take the step to work on their educational goals,” says Tikinagan’s Executive Director Thelma Morris. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and we know it wasn’t easy. Congratulations to them both and we continue to support employees in their career goals. When our employees enhance their skills, they ultimately enhance our services for the children and families we serve. This is an integral part of our service model, Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin.”