May 26th, 2024

Ukrainian immigrant doing whatever it takes to help newcomers

By KENDALL KING on May 27, 2023.

Mila Wagner was presented the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta's inaugural CEO Award during the association's April 21 general meeting.--SUBMITTED PHOTO

A Ukrainian immigrant residing in southern Alberta is continuing to assist newcomers to Canada through her work with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta, while still making strides in her personal and professional lives.

Featured in the June 6, 2022 edition of the News, Mila Wagner is a former resident of Ukraine who moved to Lethbridge in 2016.

Following her move, Wagner struggled to secure a job in the field of engineering technology, despite having the qualifications. After finding employment, Wagner wanted to help make the process easier for other newcomers, and so began working with ASET to promote several newcomer support initiatives.

To recognize her contributions throughout the past year, ASET recently presented Wagner its inaugural CEO Award.

“Mila was given this award for her exceptional and transitiveness contribution to ASET,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. “Her enthusiasm for, and dedication to the effort knew no bounds and she was always 100 per cent committed to it.”

Wagner is honoured to have been named the first recipient of the award.

“When I heard that I won an ASET CEO Award, I felt so great,” said Wagner. “It’s amazing when a highly-prestigious organization like ASET recognizes your hard work and gives you an opportunity to prove your value to the world. It is my heart to serve my profession and community and help give a leg up to people who just arrived in Canada.”

The award is just one of Wagner’s multiple accomplishments throughout the past year. In early April, Wagner passed her Canadian citizenship test, and currently, awaits confirmation of her Canadian certification as an engineering technologist.

A resident of Lethbridge, she has also been able to provide friends and family members fleeing Ukraine with a safe space to land once they arrive in Canada and, of course, has been able to help them find employment opportunities.

She hopes by sharing her accomplishments, she can offer reassurance to other newcomers of the opportunities available to them in Canada and Alberta.

“I believe my story will inspire newcomers to not be afraid to start all over again in the new country,” said Wagner. “All their efforts and hard work will pay off. It is a wonderful opportunity to have a better future in Canada.”

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