Only I Can Define What I Can Do

Makayla Laboucan. Photo by Northern Lakes College

Makayla Laboucan. Photo by Northern Lakes College

Northern Lakes College graduate Makayla Laboucan credits her family for her career choice in Social Work. “My family was a foster family. While I was growing up, I saw many different faces move in and out of our home. I also grew up watching my mother help clients; she works as a FASD worker in High Prairie. My sister also completed her Social Work Diploma with Northern Lakes College and recently graduated from the University of Calgary with her BSW. My life goal is to help and guide. I want to support those who want change in their lives,” she says.

A member of the Sucker Creek First Nation, Laboucan lives in High Prairie. She graduated from the Social Work Diploma program in May 2018 and has her eye on her future. “I will be returning to University Studies at Northern Lakes College (NLC) this winter before I apply for my degree in Social Work at the University of Calgary for the fall of 2019. I also have plans to continue my studies after my BSW, to pursue a Criminology degree,” she adds.

Laboucan choose to study at NLC because she was not ready to move away from her family. Attending NLC made it possible for her to stay connected with her family and to maintain the support system already in place. “I do not think I would have been as successful if I was four or six hours away from my family and friends,” she states.

Chosen as her class valedictorian, Laboucan delivered the farewell statement to the class of 2018 at NLC’s graduation ceremony in June. “When I received the letter indicating that I was chosen to be valedictorian, I was shocked,” she states. “If you would have told me two and a half years ago that I would be the valedictorian and giving a speech in front of an audience, I would have laughed at you and said ‘yeah right.’ This is a huge accomplishment. As an Aboriginal woman, it has taught me that anything is possible and that only I can define what I can do.”

Laboucan’s advice to others who are considering Social Work as a future career is to “be open-minded to all things. There will be things that you may not agree with but, as a future Social Worker, you cannot judge or make decisions based on your own opinions.”