Committed to the Cause, Ready to Help!
Debra Abraham, appointed to the Accessibility Committee of British Columbia is the founder of Unique Get Together Society (UGTS) and a woman of Caribbean, Cree and Sioux descent. Debra brings 20+ years of experience working in social services. With a track record of getting things done, she has spent time working in group homes, women’s shelters, detox centers, foster homes, and recently, she has had success working with children who live with autism and extra needs. Passionate about making a difference in the lives of others, she left the Ministry of Children and Family Development to start UGTS so she could offer her knowledge and experience to those who need the support.
It all started with doing behavior intervention over ten years ago while attending college. I started in group homes working with kids of various ages, cognitive abilities, and physical challenges. After approximately two years of this I began to also work with children and families both in their homes and in the community. At this time my mother was working as a social worker, and we would talk about the parallels in the challenges and obstacles we both faced in providing the best service we could to the kids we worked for. Out of this frustration UGTS was born. We continued to work for and with children and families with special needs however under our own banner and with our own principles. We began our flagship summer camp program, we were able to connect with families and kids on a level which we were unable to before, and ultimately, we were able to make a more meaningful impact. Over the years we have expanded and grown to multiple programs, and areas of need however my passion remains with working with young people, teaching and learning alongside them. I am proud to say that I played a small role those first years in getting our organization up and running and am blown away by the growth of the company and the amazing tribe members who have come aboard along the way.
Sandra is a resourceful, proactive professional with a major can do attitude. Extensive experience and skills working as a mentor, counsellor, life skills coach, facilitator, trainer, emergency child care provider, and a history of key management roles in private corporations as well as government funded programs for clients facing challenges of disabilities, anxiety, depression, toxic relationships, poverty, trauma, PTSD, BPD etc. Values integrity, personal development, giving your best and following your heart. Positive thinker with a strong passion and ability to motivate, encourage and support others on their path. Sandra is also an energy worker who obtained a master level Reiki in 2020.
"Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart" ~ Rumi
46yr old single mom to 5 kids and have 2 grandkids.
I have a worked in the vulnerable sector and health care for over 20yrs. I am trained in mental health, drug addiction, safe injection, and an array of many other trainings. I started of my career path in 2000 when I took my Health care aid course because of year of taking care of my grandmother I loved the feeling I had to serve. While in my journey of Healthcare I started to take an interest in dementia and geriatric psychology patients and started to educate myself on mental health and the brain!
This lead me into the field of addictions and safe injection sites on Vancouver Island were I was born and raised. I grew up in addiction all around me and as a child never understood the world of addiction. Then as an adult suffered my own demons when younger but managed to get out before getting to far lost in a world at the time I was happy to be in. I have had the privilege to work in several areas of the vulnerable sector from Outreach to Transition homes to group homes and 1 on 1. I love the challenge of this sector and love the difference, no matter how small I get to make in this field of work. I am happy to have joined the UGTS Team and look forward to all the greater good I get to be a hand in.
Ikenna Emmanuel Egbujor is a Chartered Accountant with close to seven years of multinational experience in financial reporting and analysis. I am from the eastern part of Nigeria. I am currently running an MBA program here in Canada.
What makes UGTS special for me is their love, support and service for the underserved and disadvantaged, and how they confront racial and social inequalities in the communities through their support programs. Mother Theresa once said, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning, Love has to be put into action and that action is service”.
I am excited for the opportunity to make small contributions in my field towards the mission of the organization
I recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with the Unique Getting Together Society (UGTS) to gain valuable experience in research and development, to learn new skills, and assist with preparing the Indigenous culture camps. I am Anishinaabe and my band affiliation is Wabigoon Lake (ON). In my youth, I was the Founder and President of the Indigenous Students Association (InSA) at UBC, during this time I helped facilitate various Indigenous cultural events. Outside of school, I studied psychology, spirituality, and existential philosophy.
Kansas is passionate about helping others achieve their goals and is dedicated to making a positive impact on the community. Her focus is on learning and developing her HR and Payroll skills in order to be the best advocate she can for employees. Kansas loves sports such as soccer and volleyball, she also enjoys going on long drives and finding new adventures! “I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work and learn from such a hardworking and dedicated team. I look forward to growing with UGTS and contributing to the organization's mission.”
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Nevada is a mixed background Otipemisiwak (Métis) and member of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA). She is our Program and Services Coordinator in Alberta and is also a co-founder, educator, and consultant with the Collective Wellness Pow Wow.An old-style fancy dancer, she holds a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and is a trained Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy (IFOT) therapist.
Aaniin Boozho, my dear relatives, my name is
Gitchi Makwa, Makwa Indodem, Anishinaabe
Stacy Gallagher. I’m a 60-year-old male born on
these unceded Coast Salish territories. I follow the
matriarchal grandmothers of Serpent River, Ontario
, where my mother was born. As a good relative,
I’m to behave according to the grandmothers’
teachings and natural laws. I’ve been given the
great responsibility to care for the people, meaning
my life is no longer mine but I follow the original
instructions through the blood memory of my
ancestors. I serve the people as a firekeeper.
I conduct purification lodges (sweatlodges),
letting go ceremonies, and carry an opwaagan/pipe
for the people. Also, I participate in Sundance
ceremonies and Chibay (ghost dance).
I’ve worked as the Native Liaison officer at
Surrey Pre-Trial, and worked with youth in care
as well as aging out. Over the years, I’ve
facilitated programs with Together We Can, a
recovery house for Indigenous men, performed
ceremonies with UNYA, the Urban Native Youth
Association, and Youth Co’s street kids programs.
I’ve also worked for ACCESS. I have suicide
prevention, mental health and addictions training.
I volunteer with the Native Friendship Centre,
Moosehide Campaign, and work with the elders.
Most of all, I’m a land and water protector.
Chi-Miigwetch, all my relations,
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your circle. I am humbled and honoured to be here. I believe that all of my paths in life and my 35 years as an Early Childhood Educator working witha variety of culturally diverse families has led me here. I feel that we can collectively raise up our vision to create a Daycare that is not only unique but, where love and acceptance are meant equally for all. In my role as the Manager of the Daycare, it will be my intent to create the kind of environment where a child will feel loved, accepted, supported, and safe to be themselves. A place where a child is embraced for who they authentically are: An amazing child!I once attended an Indigenous Conference where an Elder spoke about how he was raised and how he came about his destiny in life. He told of how he was raised in a family where his parents were addicted and how he was left to look after himself almost all the time. He spoke of how no one intervened or noticed his struggles and how he was never helped by anyone. It came to a crisis around age 11, where he was basically dying from starvation. He said at that time 12 ancestors came to his bedside to let him know that he was not going to die and that he had a destiny to travel the world to talk about how love was the most important thing. He said that the ancestors told him that the reason for all of mankind’s troubles and diseases was due to the disconnect from their hearts. He was to go and share this message with the world.It is my intent that when a child walks through the doors of the Daycare they will first and foremost feel loved by the staff and that they will feel that have entered into a place of wonder, curiosity, and joy in everything that we all do together.I raise my hands to you all.
& WEB DEVELOPER
My name is Roda. I have a background in healthcare and have recently transitioned into working in the field of tech and now marketing too! With great mentorship and teammates, I'm learning something new every day. It's immensely rewarding being able to make a difference and advocate for different marginalized groups. I'm happy to have the opportunity to join UGTS in making a lasting impact.
My name is Marcy and I was born and raised in the Fraser Valley and currently reside there. I have been a Registered Nurse for the last 30 years. My passion is working with children and their families. I have worked in the acute care setting in many areas, most recently in pediatrics and the NICU. I love being able to assist families and teach them how to best care for their loved ones. I believe I have been called to advocate for those who have no voice. I look forward to how I am able to use my gifts working with the UGTS team. I am married with 4 grown children and their spouses. I enjoy time spent with my family, being in the outdoors taking in creation, volunteering at church, working in my garden and spending time with friends.
INCLUSIVE CHILD CARE ASSISTANT
Ey Swayel, my name is Cheryl Julian (SHELEL JULIAN) from Sqwa First Nation which is in the Stolo Territory. The position I hold within the Unique Get Together Society is the Intuitive Care Manager Assistant at the new daycare located in Chilliwack BC. I am a strong young leader that has actively been working with youth. From a very young age I have always envisioned myself working closely with children and youth. Whether it be helping them through challenging obstacles or helping them with their development. In my journey I think of all the times I wished someone would have been a support for me. I want to be there for the children and youth, so they never have to feel alone. I want their voices to be heard and for them to flourish in their life journeys. I always look forward, taking part in creating history that our future generations will look back on and be proud of.
My name is Koral I currently live in Thunder Bay Ontario on the lands of the Roberson Superior Treaty. I am Cree-Métis. My family founded Sturgeon Lake First Nation. I have a varied
academic background that started in International Business Management. I then went back to school and obtained my HBA of Psychology with a specialization in Gerontology. Recently I have graduated from Lakehead University with a
Master’s of Social Justice with a specialization in Gender and Women’s Studies.
My academic focus was heavily rooted in Indigenous studies. I also focused heavily on Law and Restorative Justice. My work in my Master’s and professionally has been in the area of Indigenous Harm Reduction. Harm Reduction is a passion that I have due to my past traumas and lived experience.
I hope to be the light out of the dark for my community.
YOUTH CARE WORKER
I am a recent graduate in the field of Social Services with a focus and passion surrounding Addiction and Youth Issues. I am a very compassionate and open-minded woman with a great interest in Spirituality. I have always loved Psychology and studying human nature in relationships. I’ve been described as a Social Justice Warrior and it’s important to me to always help and fight for those who cannot help themselves. I feel so privileged to be a part of UGTS Tribe and look forward to making a difference and creating positive change in those around me. Keeping mind, body, spirit and emotions in balance is critical to overall health and happiness, and spending time in nature and with animals keeps me grounded. Cooking and nutrition is also a passion of mine, and I’m most relaxed in the kitchen. I’m eager and excited to continue learning and growing in life and work, being the best version of myself that I can be and helping others to see the potential and beauty within themselves. I am neurodivergent myself and have a strong desire to help and provide support and love to others the same.
GRANT & ADMIN SUPPORT
My name is Kayla and I am a student at Concordia University in Quebec. I’m currently pursuing a double major in English Literature and Irish Studies. Working with UGTS has been a meaningful experience because I know that what I do is creating a positive impact for a number of communities. I look forward to learning and growing alongside this organization.
My name is Priya, and I am currently completing my Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I have developed a strong passion for working in the mental health field and supporting members of marginalized groups. Over the course of my studies, I have been fortunate enough to gain experience in quality improvement through working with Fraser Health on various acute care initiatives. Along with this, sports and exercise play a large role in my personal health and well-being. I played ice hockey for fifteen years, and I continue to prioritize exercise by seeking out new hikes and practicing yoga. Overall, I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to make a difference in the health of communities!
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
My name is Sabiha and I am a master’s student at University of Toronto for Occupational Therapy. I have a background in health sciences but have always been interested in the world of technology and marketing. This year I pursued my passion and was able to join the UGTS team as a Social Media Coordinator.
Being part of the UGTS team, I immediately felt that my work was making a positive and meaningful difference. The programs and services are created with so much love and dedication behind the scenes. The aim is always to help minority communities and those that are underserved. I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to work towards achieving the UGTS mission.
My name is Shaheena and I have completed my bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care. I plan to apply for a master’s degree in counselling soon because I've been thinking about getting more education and think this is a good fit for me. At a young age, I became passionate about and motivated by supporting young people. I was certain that this was the area I wanted to work in. My experiences have helped me develop personally and teach me how to support people in need. I am incredibly appreciative of the impressions I have had on many people, and I look forward to making more in the future with UGTS.