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About Us

Career Loans empowers Internationally Trained Individuals (ITI's) in Alberta and Saskatchewan to achieve their career goals. The program provides free one-on-one employment and financial counselling and micro loans to eligible applicants.

Career Loans is a virtual program and is especially designed to help newcomers who encounter barriers in having their credentials recognized, or face challenges in securing funding to get re-certified.

Eligible candidates are able to receive loans of $1,500 to $15,000, which can be used towards training, assessment, accreditation, exams, licensing and membership fees, and any required materials. Loan recipients have up to four years to pay off these low-interest loans, and will continue to receive personalized employment and financial counselling  throughout.

On an individual basis, clients are also referred to local based service providers in Alberta and Saskatchewan for services that can enable them to fulfill their potential.

Launched in 2019, this program is funded by Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and coordinated by Achēv.

Our Team

 

Sonja Johnson

Sonja Johnson

Project Manager

I have worked 20+ years in various non-profit, banking and NGO organisations in the Caribbean, UK and Canada. I have a Masters in International Business and Management from the University of Westminster (London, UK) and a BSc. in Professional Management from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, USA. I come with 15+ years of management experience in empowering staff, designing and implementing programs for newcomers and others in the under-served population. The reason I joined the non-profit sector is because it is the best platform for me to pursue my passion in making a positive impact on the economic empowerment for 2 key client groups; newcomers and start-up entrepreneurs.

Favorite motivational quote:

“To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Cheryl Murray

Cheryl Murray

Information and Financial Counsellor (Saskatchewan)

I am a pragmatic Career and Work Counsellor/coach. In my 20 years career in Social and Employment Services, I have established over 15,000 expert hours of coaching, mentoring, counselling, and supporting individuals of all diverse backgrounds. I have developed and co-developed workshops and programs in support of improving employability skills, life skills, personal development, financial stability and encouraging others in their career and life transformation. I have facilitated and coached over 1000 individuals – 1-on-1 and group – which has regenerated the lives of a diverse group of individuals, permanently altered their life trajectory throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

My life’s purpose, dedication, and commitment are to provide excellent service for all as I continue my growth in my life’s journey.

Favourite motivational quote:

An African Proverb – “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”

Venus Shafiei

Venus Shafiei

Information and Financial Counsellor (Alberta)

I have been empowering Newcomers to realize their dreams in a new country that they called home for the past ten years, yet always were inspired by their resourcefulness and resilience in navigating their way to successful integration. My work is informed by staying current with the emerging practices as well as the lived experiences of my clients. I have been supporting immigrant families with children with their initial settlement needs, professional newcomers with credential evaluations and navigating the employment opportunities by alliance building with my Newcomer clients to co-create an individual action plan for successful integration. I am an advocate of inclusive economies that celebrates the contributions of newcomer professionals and creates a stronger Canada.

When I am not helping clients, I am immersed in the beauty of nature and am grateful for this amazing journey of life.

Favourite motivational quote:

"What you seek is seeking you”

Claudia Valenzuela

Claudia Valenzuela

Information and Financial Counsellor (Saskatchewan)

My expertise relies on assisting internationally trained individuals to reach their career goals by offering expert advice on finding the best way to obtaining their accreditation assessed and recognized in Canada. My background is in Career and Work Counselling, Marketing and Retail. I find great satisfaction when I see my clients succeed in their careers and occupations of choice in Canada, through my guidance. I bring over two decades of experience working as a counsellor and facilitator for Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP). The reason I joined the non-profit sector is to make a difference in the lives and careers of ITPs, which is something I strongly believe. Favourite motivational quote: "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change" Wayne Dyer

Rodika Barbu

Rodika Barbu

Information and Financial Counsellor (Alberta)

I bring with me extensive experience as a Career Counsellor/Assessor/Case Manager and Financial Guidance Counsellor in non-profit sector. I am also experienced in working with Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs), providing individual one-on-one support/counselling, employment and making financial informed decisions about training selection. I have a solid understanding of immigration issues in Canada and understand the current Immigration Act and policies. Some of my accomplishments include: interviewing clients individually to assess their employment situation, make informed referrals to community partners based on clients’ eligibility, developing and fostering relationships within the community, and building partnerships. Favourite motivational quote: “If you DREAM it, you can DO it.” -Walt Disney

Charles Curl

Charles Curl

Webmaster

I have extensive experience as a Web Developer/Webmaster with a passion for computers and technology since my first Commodore VIC-20 at 10 years old. In the last 6 years I have specialized on the WordPress platform, which excitingly recently hit version 5.0. I’m a technology buff and always looking for the latest greatest tech gear. In my off time I’m a golfer, gamer, and snowboarder. I enjoy assembling computers and gaming machines and all electronics. I hope to serve your technical needs during this exciting process, and help you on your way as an Internationally Trained Professional. Favourite Quote: "The best thing about a Boolean is that even if you are wrong, you're only off by a bit."

Gavin Au-Yeung

Gavin Au-Yeung

Content Developer

While living abroad, I faced many challenges including cultural misunderstanding and language barriers. Thanks to the help of many kind people, I was able to live comfortably in an unfamiliar environment. I relate to the barriers faced by immigrants who are placed in a new country. As part of the Career Loans team, I’m excited at the opportunity to help Internationally Trained Individuals ease into the Canadian workplace. Being the Content Developer for Career Loans allows me to combine my passions for storytelling and helping others. My experience includes creating digital content for websites, blogs, and social media management. I am excited at this opportunity to contribute to something really special. My favorite motivational quote is: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Meet The Team

Meet the Team

PrepCan-Online Newcomer Information Centre is coordinated and funded by:

Centre for Education & Training Mississauga logo Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

careerloans logo

Career Loans provides career counselling and micro loans to Internationally Trained Individuals in regulated and non-regulated occupations and trades, who are looking to return to their chosen profession.



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Funded By:
logo-ESDC
Coordinated By:

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Financial Partner:

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Are you stuck in a survival job & underutilizing your skills?

Hear from happy members about how our services are propelling them ... towards their dream #careers in #Canada.

Watch now!
https://vimeo.com/522959186

What are some in-demand #healthcare occupations in #Canada? Read our latest #blog and let us know what you think!

... https://careerloans.ca/5-more-healthcare-occupations/

Today, Sikh communities in Canada and around the world will celebrate Vaisakhi. The Achēv team wishes everyone celebrating a bright, ... cheerful and safe Vaisakhi!

#HappyVaisakhi #Vaisakhi

Career Loans is pleased to have been nominated as a finalist at the @SaskOpenDoor Annual Diversity Gala for the partner of the year ... category. We are looking forward to our continued collaboration with this great organization!

Hear from one of our Counsellors as she shares an important tip for #newcomers getting their #career started in #Canada.

... http://videoask.social-card.top/oehhqoaf

#Networking #Career #CareerDevelopment #MotivationMonday #MondayMotivation #TIpOfTheWeek

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PrepCan-Online Newcomer Information Centre is coordinated and funded by:

Centre for Education & Training Mississauga logo Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

COVID-19 NOTICE

All Career Loans virtual services will continue during this time; our hours of operation remain the same at 8:30AM – 4:30PM (MT) from Monday to Friday. Please contact us if you require assistance outside of these hours.