Friday, December 3, 2010

40 after 40: Kylah Blair

Then:

Though she once dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, Kylah Blair eventually realized that her real passion lay with helping people rather than animals. She began looking into post-secondary programs, with little success. Then she came across the Therapeutic Recreation Program on the Douglas College website.

“After reading the four-line description, I was convinced this program was the right fit for me,” she says. “The TRP program is unique in that it allowed for the perfect marriage of my passion for recreation and desire to help those in my community.”

In 2003 Kylah began general studies at Douglas and entered the Therapeutic Recreation Program soon after, graduating in 2008. Upon completion of her two-year diploma, Douglas launched its degree program in Therapeutic Recreation.

“For me, the timing couldn’t have been better,” Kylah says “I entered directly into third year and was part of the first graduating class at Douglas.”

Now:

In the mere two years since she graduated, Kylah has completed a four-month internship in New York, has worked for an “adventure therapy” company in Vancouver, where she kayaked with people with disabilities, and has worked at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. For the past year and a half she’s been working full-time with the Strathcona Mental Health Team on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and “couldn’t be happier.” If that weren’t enough, she also volunteers with the BC Wheelchair Sports Association and the Provincial Wheelchair Rugby team.

Kylah credits Douglas as being the foundation for all the professional skills she uses in her daily practice.

“My teachers taught me to listen and think critically, whereas my classmates continue to remind me of the passion that made me choose this career. Not many people get the opportunity to attend a smaller educational institution with such a high quality program.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.