Committed to the Cause, Ready to Help!
As the founder of Unique Get Together Society (UGTS) and a woman of Caribbean, Cree and Sioux descent, she 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. 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.
PROGRAM & SERVICE COORDINATOR
Marina Garmon is the Programs and Services Coordinator with Unique Get Together Society. She brings with her 19 years of experience in the child and youth care field working primarily with at-risk youth and those with behavioural management issues. UGTS will be opening an inclusive childcare center in the Spring of 2021. Her views on childcare blend well with the center’s goal to meet each child’s needs on an individual basis. As the proud parent of a six-year-old energetic boy, she understands the concerns of the parents entrusting the care of their children to others. She is committed to ensuring that the children thrive in the safe and enriching environment of Whole Child Childcare. Marina is grateful for the opportunity to lead the Fraser Valley Tribe, as they grow and support all members of her community.
Melanie does the bookkeeping and payroll for Unique Get Together Society. She received her diploma in Business Management from Douglas College and she has a passion for children and youth services. She grew up in the Tri-Cities where she has always enjoyed spending time outdoors.
James Rosier was born in Tallahassee, Florida and he is Cherokee and Haitian American heritage. When he was 11, he moved to Seattle with his family. In Seattle he played High School Pro and Basketball and then was recruited to Capilano College to play for their Basketball team. He has resided in the lower mainland permanently since 2007. He coaches and mentor kids and has coached kids through the Richmond Raiders Basketball team as well as for Vancouver Grizzlies Camps. He has experience working with and parenting children with neuro – diversities. He also plays Men’s basketball through Round-ball BC.
& RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Harleen is studying Indigenous Social Work and recently completed her practicum with UGTS. Here, she really enjoyed her experience and the opportunity to learn extensively about the organization. She is interested in social work research and is excited to work on developing this area of UGTS.
Kori Kilburn, passionate and proud mother of 2 successful young adults attending university and a teenager in middle school. After nearly two decades of being a host mother to countless international students, she is delighted to be working together at Unique Get Together Society to see kids blossom and reach their potential, see them smile and light up!
Asia is a college student currently enrolled in the child and youth care program at Douglas college. She is passionate about her field of study, which allows her to support children and families in need. She looks forward to working with the team at UGTS and she is going to learn a lot from everyone. Aside from school, she has work related experiences working with children and youth volunteering for the Coquitlam summer camps. Asia has completed her first practicum at diversity community resources society, working with children experiencing challenges. She is excited to be working at UGTS as a one to one support for children, youth, and support families to achieve their goals.
Jasleen is a university student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She acknowledges that the land on which KPU and her own home reside is on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples; Specifically, the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, and Tsawwassen First Nations. Jasleen hopes to use her education at KPU to stand against injustice and advocate for the rights of Indigenous peoples. She is currently pursuing both a Bachelor of Arts in sociology as well as a certificate in NGO work. She began with UGTS as a volunteer and has now joined the team officially. Jasleen is currently working on UGTS policy work as well as a contributor to our Blog. With Social justice and community care at the forefront of her priorities, working with our organization has been the perfect fit for Jasleen. After Graduation Jasleen hopes to pursue a master’s degree in either social work or counseling and continue in community work to uplift voices and provide allyship.
& WEB DEVELOPER
Christine has been in the events and marketing industry since 2007; planning, designing, and executing many weddings, private, corporate, and fundraising events. She hopes to add to the growth of UGTS; Passionate about making a difference, Christine approaches everything with kindness and understanding first. Her passions include all levels of design, exploring nature with her family, experiencing art & cultures, connecting with people, and helping those in need in her community. She is grateful to be a part of the marketing & web team and excited to contribute to the fabric of the Unique Get Together Society.
Carl has a lifelong passion for music and guitar and has been teaching guitar for 2 years. Carl finds motivation and joy in helping others and volunteers as a basketball coach on weekends. He moved from Lebanon to Canada over a decade ago to start a new and improved life and is fascinated in learning new cultures and can speak 3 languages, English, French and Arabic. He currently is working on an international studies degree to enable him to help the United Nations in creating a diverse, loving and united world.
Cassidy is currently in university with the goal of becoming a school teacher. She loves working with children as she has lots of experience volunteering in schools and working as a rodeo instructor for kids of all ages. Cassidy hopes to show children how important but easy it is to show kindness and friendliness. Her goal is to make a child’s week a bit brighter by showing grace and encouraging them to explore the outdoors!
Tina Major has lived in Chilliwack for over 25 years and feels blessed to have her family’s roots in such a beautiful, diverse community. Her oldest two daughters are now grown and have chosen to build their homes here, while her youngest son is fully involved in his school community and appreciates the resources available that enrich his life. As well as post-secondary education, Tina brings her attention, carefulness, and sensitive spirit to her work at UGTS. She has been working in the community in many different areas over these past years, mainly centered on serving others, and is excited to have joined the UGTS team in offering resources to neighboring families.
Hello my name is Bella Abraham, 19 years old and I’m passionate about seeing change and working with a non-profit that supports that. I will be a youth worker for the organization utilizing my strengths with the team over the Summer. I look forward to picking up new skills and learning along the way.
PAYROLL & BOOKKEEPER
My name is Parris Abraham and my pronouns are she/they. I am 27 years old and I have been a guest on the unceded, traditional territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nations (Coquitlam) my whole life. Before coming to UGTS, I worked in the grey market and legal market of the cannabis industry and multiple facets of community work and organization. When I'm not being of service to my community, I am usually hiking, biking, spending time with my dogs, furthering my education or reading a good self help or fiction book. I am passionate about social justice and the fight for racial equity world wide and have had a life long passion for music, lyricism, poetry, and recording. I am so happy to be working with UGTS on building better communities, learn from community members so I can be of better service to them, and continuing the road to racial equity and equality.
My name is Tasha and I am a 31 year old proud mom of a sweet little boy. As someone who is on the Autism spectrum and lives with ADHD, I feel I have a deeper understanding about the struggles that can arise with sensory processing. My calm and quiet demeanor is also a useful trait for clients who especially struggle with sensory issues. Being a part of this organization has been very educational and enjoyable! Before joining UGTS, my background included mostly carpentry and other trades. Outside of UGTS I am a freelance artist with a small business in costume making, jewelry and accessories making and painting!
Growing up in Edmonton Alberta I took a job at an early age of 13 as a dishwasher in a 30 seat pizza house and in a few short months I was serving our guests. From there Food and Beverage has been my career for the last 40 years. With a few career changes along the way, I have been in administration, bookkeeping, management in retail sales, and back to Management in Food & Beverage.
I moved west when I was 18 to Vancouver Island and found my way to Chilliwack where I have called home for the last 21 years. I have a beautiful family that I am lucky to get to spend quality time with.
With 10 years experience as a Food & Beverage manager, In 2018 I decided to take a new path and went back to school for Bookkeeping for Small Business. I have always been a person looking for ways to give back, at UGTS I feel I am part of a giving family. I am proud and excited to be a part of UGTS and all the support we have to offer!
Manuel Pina B is an artist, pedagogue, and social and spiritual activist. Manuel has taught art in the Department of Art History and Visual Arts at UBC for over 17 years. His work explores the relations of art+spirituality+technology as a key to elucidate present realities and challenges, and imagine new forms of life and Justice.
Pina was born in Havana, Cuba. Graduated as mechanical engineer in Vladimir, Russia, in 1983. Began exhibiting his art in 1992.
His work has been exhibited in the Americas and Europe including the Havana Biennale, the Estambul Biennale, Kunsthalle Vienna, Grey Gallery, N.Y., LACMA, U.S.A., Dorsky Gallery, N.Y., DAROS Museum, Zurich.
Hello, my name is Alyshia! I am 30 years old, and married with 3 beautiful children. I became a young mother at the age of 17 and went through many struggles and learning curves which helped me grow. I love children, and working with them. I’ve always wanted to be a counsellor or support worker because I am passionate about helping others. I love to cook and have a small home business where I cook personal meals for people around the Fraser Valley. I am super excited to be joining the UGTS team, and hope I can make a big impact on many lives along the way.
Sabina is of Dene Métis descent and brings 20 years of experience working in healthcare.
She’s completed the Indigenous Focus Oriented Therapy training and is a caring support for people as they go through their healing process. Her approach is respectful, land-based, body-centered and anchored in Indigenous ways of knowing.
Sabina is also very passionate about assisting people as the follow their dreams and bring them into reality.”
Sean is a recent highschool graduate who is going to attend the University of Regina for social work and to continue his football career. Sean finds social work rewarding and fulfilling as he likes to advocate for marginalized groups of people, in his free time he likes to hang out with friends, listen to music and watch movies.
I have lived in Chilliwack all my life, I'm a proud wife, a mother and step mom to 4 kids. I have always loved helping people, and after many years in the service industry, I decided to do something more rewarding for my community. Volunteering and working with youth and children has always been my passion and with help along the way I have been able to do just that. I have spent 3 years working with women and children fleeing violence and am very excited to begin this journey with UGTS in this next chapter of my life .
My name is Elayna Murdock, I am happy to be here on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. I am from Fisher River Cree nation treaty 5 territory in Manitoba. I enrolled at University of Manitoba studying Health Sciences and majoring in rural community health.
Majority of my work has been with First Nations children, youth and families. My work at the Urban Eagle Transition Centre began as a youth support worker and ended as an Assistant coordinator, where I supported youth in the transition into an urban Centre and assisted with accessing resources and supports to become independent. I then returned to my home community where I worked at the Employment and Training program and gained skills related to being a lead in organizing events and gatherings and all the administrative tasks that come with supporting a program that supports youth. Most recently I was able to work at our school as an educational assistant, where I provided one on one support to children who had additional support needs.
I have worked along side elders in my community to host workshops and events that empower youth, such as medicine picking, culture camps and craft nights. I am passionate about helping others and keeping the culture and traditions alive. On my free time I like to go biking, try new restaurants, music and cooking.
I moved to Chilliwack when I was 3, grew up here and I am now bringing my own children up to be successful members of society. I have worked all throughout the community and enjoyed my daily interactions with everyone. Each story is unique and special and that's what I love. I am excited for this new adventure that life has handed me.
ASSISTANT MANAGER FOR PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
My name is Aimira, I am 27 years old. I am an international student from Kazakhstan. Currently, I am studying Project Management at Douglas college. Before arriving in Canada, I used to work in the Civil Aviation industry. In Kazakhstan, while studying at university I also did volunteering in Sports. After graduation, I helped volunteer organizations that take care of stray pets. I am proud of becoming part of UGTS and excited to do social work and learn about new cultures. I truly believe work in Vancouver is a new path in my life and I am willing to contribute to the local community.
Chrissie is currently working as a Behavioral Interventionist and finds herself deeply invested in the mental health industry. She Is also studying psychology at Simon Fraser University and hopes to become a clinical or developmental psychologist one day. Open to working within the community, her wish is to fulfill passion projects that will help make the world safer and better for those who do not have access to particular mental health resources.
My name is M'Lee Baptiste I am originally from the small but beautiful Sunshine Coast. I moved to Vancouver three years ago to persue my post secondary dream in family and community counselling. I'm proudly part of the Shíshálh band and love spreading knowledge of my culture to others.
Seven Times Standing Strong
Dennis Lloyd Easter
Our beloved teacher, mentor, elder friend, and most of all family thank you for your love of teaching the indigenous ways of being. You have deeply and profoundly touched us all words cannot express our love to you we will continue to honour the work we started, therefore, honouring you,
So long my beloved friend