Friday, September 5, 2014

Douglas College student helps people overcome barriers to employment

                                                               David Denofreo Photo
Pippin Brown understands how important meaningful, paid work can be in the lives of people who face significant personal challenges. At present, she works as a senior behaviour interventionist, helping young people with autism develop life and social skills. In that role, she has helped one of her teenage clients find a job and start planning a career.

Looking to improve her skills and knowledge, Pippin is studying towards an Advanced Certificate in Employment Supports Specialty at Douglas College. The part-time program is for people who work with youth and adults who face significant barriers to employment such as mental illness or a disability. Students gain an understanding of current theories and models related to helping clients achieve success in their work lives.

“I am passionate about helping others and ensuring their success in the future,” Pippin says. “Working with families to create goals and programs to enhance children’s learning and quality of life is an area I find great pleasure in.”

“In the future I want to become a behaviour consultant and I know many of the individuals I will support will want to transition into employment,” she says. “Although I have experience in supported employment, I know I also have limitations. I want to expand my knowledge and have certification in the area of supported employment.”

The first of its kind in Canada, the Employment Supports Specialty program is two terms long and administered entirely online.

“I like that the program is online,” Pippin says. “This program has created an online community where like-minded people can discuss and share ideas. With it being online, I can continue working in the evenings and on weekends as well as be home with my daughter during the day.”

“I recommend this program to anyone who is working with people that face barriers to paid employment.”

Learn more about the Employment Supports Specialty program on the Douglas College website.