Thursday, March 3, 2011

'Good lives': Helen Stovell

Classroom and Community Support Program (2010)

I am the Shared Living Coordinator for Community Ventures Society, and I’m also working towards a Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation at the University of Calgary through distance education.

Why Douglas?
A few years ago Douglas offered an outreach program to several agencies in the Tri-Cities, New West and Burnaby areas to send interested staff to come and take a class once a week as credit towards Classroom Community Support. I hadn’t been in school for, what, 30 years? So it was an opportunity for me to realize, “Oh, I remember this, this isn’t so hard, I can do this.” That was the first step to then looking into the PLAR program and deciding, “Yeah, I can do this, this is workable.”

What I loved about the CCS Program
I was already working in the field, so I was able to PLAR 75 percent of the program. It only took me a year to do the two-year program while working full-time. So it was good, it was quick.

Personal goals

I want to travel more. There are lots of places I plan to go see. Australia was on my list; that's checked off. I want to go Greece, Egypt, Africa's huge on my list. It's just about saving that money and getting that time to take those big trips.

The thing about Douglas

The faculty are terrific and really supportive in helping you figure out practicums and service learning projects. They’re great in supporting creative ideas, too.

I love my job

The most rewarding aspect is the opportunity to meet so many people – the people I serve and their families. It's just so much fun and it's so great to see their lives change and grow and improve.

Role models
I have to say that the individuals I serve are the bravest people I know. They’ve got barriers that most of us don’t even think about, but they get out there every day and just plug their way through. They are my heroes.

Personal motto
Just do it! It’s never too late. I’m in my 50s now and here I am back in university.

Advice for people entering my field

The most important thing is to understand the philosophy – to really have that in your heart – that it’s about good lives for people in their own communities.
Information sessions
Classroom and Community Support Program
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