Pregnant with her first baby, Ini Williams and her husband arrived in Canada as permanent residents in 2010. Their childhood dream was to live in and explore the North American dream. “I came to Canada from Scotland; but originally, I come from Calabar, a small beautifully endowed town in South-South of Nigeria, in West Africa,” said Ini. “I had immigrated to England for further studies after completing my senior secondary school in Nigeria.”
While in England, Ini worked in the human resources field. Later on she relocated to Scotland and worked in the field of public relations.
“The first steps as I arrived in Canada were very obvious; get an accommodation, have my baby delivered safely and see what life had to offer in Canada,” said Ini.
Ini was referred to The Centre in Milton where she made an appointment with Alex Harchenko, Settlement Information and Community Outreach Specialist. “That one discussion I had with Alex changed my life and experience in Canada,” recalls Ini. “He asked me what I wanted, I told him all about my journeys, the immigrations and family situation. I told Alex about my passion to be ‘a voice’ for people, to stand for justice, to maybe go in the legal profession.”
Alex introduced Ini to some available resources and advised her to look into a paralegal program. She also attended one of The Centre’s employment workshops and enrolled in a paralegal program.
By September Ini expects to graduate with high honours and has hope for the future. She believes that volunteering is a great way to gain experience and network. “I volunteered a few brief times during the two plus years of my studies and I felt fulfilled, and so I am open to a job in any humanitarian organization,” she added.
For Ini, coming to Canada seems like it was ordained by God. “I have had great experiences; the people are kind, supportive and respectful; there are great religious and cultural/social groups, countless opportunities to tap on; and my Canadian-born babies are happy, safe and resourceful.”
Ini believes that success does not come without a price; the key is hard-work, commitment and determination. “Nevertheless,” she said, “opportunities come but once, snatch every opportunity, show respect to other people, respect for this great country, be grateful for the little things and stay positive. Try to smile through every hurdle; as the saying goes, “there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”