In the field of Human Services, alum Samuel Ko practices listening and patience while supporting people to grow in their independence

“I love to work with and support individuals...I have found some meaningful things in life through my work.”
 
— Samuel Changyong Ko ('16), BA Sociology with Human Services certificate


At Samuel Changyong Ko’s place of work the word “life” has a special meaning.

That’s because Samuel works at Milieu Family Services, which provides support to adults with disabilities, where their life-based program focuses on the pillars of learning, inclusion, friendship and employment.

In his work, Samuel supports adults with intellectual disabilities, with the goal of helping them to become independent in life.

A graduate of TWU’s Sociology degree with a Human Services certificate, Samuel has found joy in his post-graduation journey and is happy to share how he arrived at where he is today.


“I learned and came to understand tons of things through my practicum, such as how social or community services workers [do their] work, and how NGOs and charities function. ...I gained a lot [through the practicum].
It made a huge impact.”


Teamwork within a meaningful vocation

In his vocation, Samuel is joined by a team of 25 others who work together in helping people become more independent, physically and mentally. “I love to work with and support individuals,” he said, adding, “I have found some meaningful things in life through my work.”

In particular, Samuel finds great encouragement when he sees growth in others, “Even when the changes are slight, it encourages me a lot to see it.”

He concedes that at times he does need to fight the urge to feel discouraged. “I’m also a human being, so when I see that someone is not doing well even when we provide support—it’s tough.” When facing challenges, Samuel can look to the support of his teammates whom he describes as “super great.”

“I have learned a lot from them and I’m still learning,” he said, referring to his colleagues. Samuel is keen on his own personal growth, saying, “I would really like to develop myself as well, so I try to do my best as much as I can.”


“I absolutely do have tough and difficult times, even now, but every effort you make will be rewarded;
I really believe that.”


Journey from South Korea to Canada

Samuel is from South Korea and came to Canada a little over a decade ago. Like many international students from non-English-speaking countries, Samuel’s time at TWU began in the English language program.

“I didn’t understand much English when entering TWU, but I have improved, and I’m still improving a lot,” he said.

When Samuel was a student, he would go to his professors’ offices if he didn’t understand something from the lectures or if he had some lingering questions. Most professors would welcome his questions and be open to helping Samuel find solutions for challenges he was facing.  

Practicum and mentorship through TWU

The Human Services certificate program includes a significant practicum component, and this practicum experience was particularly valuable for Samuel. “I learned and came to understand tons of things through my practicum, such as how social or community services workers [do their] work, and how NGOs and charities function.”

Additionally, practicum work allowed Samuel to gain Canadian work experience. “I gained a lot [through the practicum]” he said, “It made a huge impact.”

Another highly valuable part of Samuel’s education was his connection to a mentor, whom he met through a TWU mentorship program. Samuel’s mentor introduced him to a seniors’ home where he had previously volunteered. At this seniors’ home, Samuel completed his final practicum placement before graduation and was then hired on to stay.


“I also believe that if anyone is interested in any field—if they have passion, energy, skill, positive attitude, and eagerness to learn—I’m pretty sure that anyone is able to work in any field."


Over the years, Samuel and his mentor have continued to keep in touch.

Samuel remembers TWU fondly, saying, “I loved my university life,” and described his five years at TWU as “really great”. He appreciates the Christian foundation of TWU, and in his daily life, Samuel himself continues to be strengthened through his faith.

When asked for his advice to current students, Samuel reflects on his own journey as an immigrant, learning English and studying in Canada. “I have tried to do my best,” he said, acknowledging that the effort required to succeed is great, while encouraging himself and others to not give up.

“I absolutely do have tough and difficult times, even now, but every effort you make will be rewarded; I really believe that.”

Patience and persistence are key

He also feels that with persistence, many things are possible. “I also believe that if anyone is interested in any field—if they have passion, energy, skill, positive attitude, and eagerness to learn—I’m pretty sure that anyone is able to work in any field,” he said with confidence.

Drawing on his own experience in working in Human Services, Samuel says that having the skills of patience and listening are key, especially when working with people and in services for seniors, children or people with disabilities. Lastly, he offers one more piece of advice for working with people, “Honesty is the best policy, and truth will help you a lot.”

Samuel continues to take the time and effort to connect with those whom he serves, practicing patience and listening every day, with the hopes of seeing others thrive.


See also — How experience and soft skills help TWU alum Jason Yue in working within the cybersecurity industry:
 
TWU News


About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

For media inquiries, please contact: media@twu.ca.

The views expressed by students and alumni are their own. They do not necessarily represent the views of Trinity Western University or of any other companies, groups or organizations named.

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