Har­bour Grace na­tive finds ful­fill­ment

Community Stud­ies grad­u­ate work­ing with non-profit agency

The Compass - - OPINION -

Amelia White was search­ing for di­rec­tion when she found the Community Stud­ies pro­gram at Col­lege of the North At­lantic (CNA).

She had be­gun her post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion by en­rolling in univer­sity, fol­low­ing a com­mon path for students who achieve high aca­demic stand­ing. How­ever, af­ter three years of work­ing to­ward a de­gree in psy­chol­ogy, she still didn’t see a def­i­nite ca­reer path ahead of her.

“It was a lot of school­ing for a non-spe­cific di­rec­tion,” says the River­head, Har­bour Grace na­tive. “Af­ter two years, I al­ready had $18,000 racked up in stu­dent loans, and if you’re in school that long, spend­ing that kind of money, you re­ally want to be sure of what you’re do­ing, and I wasn’t, re­ally.”

That’s when Amelia started look­ing for some­thing that spoke to her pas­sion for help­ing peo­ple, and found the two-year diploma pro­gram in Community Stud­ies at CNA’s Car­bon­ear cam­pus.

Amelia had been a community vol­un­teer in her home­town and through the Community Stud­ies pro­gram she learned how she could con­trib­ute on a pro­fes­sional level, through lead­er­ship, fundrais­ing and pro­vid­ing hu­man ser­vices.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to work in the community,” she says. “I have an in­ter­est in en­vi­ron­men­tal­ism and I like help­ing peo­ple, so to be able to nar­row down those in­ter­ests is tricky.”

Amelia says she quickly learned that the pro­gram could lead to a wide va­ri­ety of ca­reer op­tions, and she tried a few dif­fer­ent sum­mer jobs to find her niche. From a women’s cen­tre, to a con­ser­va­tion group, and even Won­der­bolt Cir­cus, she had the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence many of the dif­fer­ent as­pects of her pro­gram.

“I learned about non-phys­i­cal cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion as well as con­flict res­o­lu­tion and a myr­iad of other things,” she says. “There are so many dif­fer­ent routes you can take. I’ve taken the community fundrais­ing ap­proach, but there’s also the coun­selling as­pect, the cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion as­pect that you are equally qual­i­fied for.”

About a year ago, Amelia ac­cepted a po­si­tion as event plan­ner at the Alzheimer So­ci­ety of New­found­land and Labrador, but she says the pro­gram’s com­pre­hen­sive cur­ricu­lum pre­pared her for a va­ri­ety of po­ten­tial ca­reers.

“I don’t think there’s any­thing I learned about that I don’t use,” she says. “When you look at the pro­gram, you’re work­ing with com­put­ers, do­ing data en­try and reg­u­lar of­fice du­ties. I also do ed­u­ca­tion outreach, so the pre­sen­ta­tion skills I learned are help­ful for that. You do fundrais­ing in the pro­gram so that gave me a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence with bud­get­ing and al­lo­cat­ing re­sources.”

As ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Alzheimer So­ci­ety, Shirley Lu­cas has come to know Amelia as a valu­able em­ployee.

“She’s quite knowl­edge­able. She picks up (ev­ery) task very con­fi­dently and has the skill set to be able to do it,” she says. “She’s very re­source­ful. She’s a very good peo­ple per­son and likes work­ing with them and is con­sid­er­ably help­ful to them. She has ex­cel­lent or­ga­ni­za­tional skills.”

Lu­cas says those are all at­tributes that are de­vel­oped through the Community Stud­ies pro­gram.

“She prob­a­bly has a lot of that in her per­son­al­ity and when matched with the ed­u­ca­tion (at CNA) she was able to put it in the right ar­eas to ap­ply her­self ac­cord­ingly,” she says. “It’s very re­ward­ing work­ing with peo­ple who are go­ing on the jour­ney of Alzheimer’s dis­ease, and it’s very re­ward­ing know­ing that you are do­ing some­thing that’s help­ing them along the way.”

For Amelia, it all comes down to feel­ing a sense of ful­fill­ment when she goes to work each day.

“I love work­ing with a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion be­cause they are so full of value,” she says. “With a for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion it’s more about get­ting the job done and mak­ing money, whereas we’re more about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives.”

She says that’s why she knows she’s found the di­rec­tion she was look­ing for.

“I love my job. My goal was to work with the community and to work with peo­ple and that’s ex­actly what I do.”

Sub­mit­ted photo

Two vet­eran mem­bers of the Bri­gus Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment re­cently re­ceived long-ser­vice awards dur­ing the 48th fire­men’s con­fer­ence in St. John’s. David King and Ge­orge Fry were among five vol­un­teers from across the prov­ince to re­ceive 40-year ser­vice awards. The con­fer­ence, held June 30-July 1, also in­cluded a cer­e­mony to re­tire the hel­mets of dis­tin­guished fire­fight­ers who ei­ther re­tired or passed away in 2011 and 2012. In­cluded was the hel­met of the late David Percey, a long-time mem­ber of the Bri­gus fire depart­ment who passed away on Nov. 26, 2011. He was 50 years-of-age. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from just un­der 80 fire de­part­ments took part in the con­fer­ence. Shown here are, from left, Ge­orge Fry, Bri­gus Chief Rod­ney Mercer and David King.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Shirley Lu­cas (left), ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Alzheimer So­ci­ety of New­found­land and Labrador, knows she’s found a well­rounded em­ployee in Amelia White, a grad­u­ate of Col­lege of the North At­lantic’s Community Stud­ies pro­gram. White is a na­tive of River­head, Har­bour Grace.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.