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What it means to be a Community Support Worker

May 30, 2014 Posted in Blog Posts

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

In my early twenties, I stumbled into the world of support work. It was a very different experience from my previous serving job where I would work into the early hours of the morning, with sore feet and a migraine, not looking forward to my next shift.

I found great joy in being a Community Support Worker. I worked with variety of clients: young children with behavioural disorders, young adults with special needs, seniors with Alzheimer’s, etc. I enjoyed the challenge of adapting to each client’s specific needs and daily routines and the range of experience it gave me.

I’ll never forget my favourite client; he was a young adult with Down syndrome. He was homeschooled at a grade 12 level and had unbelievable will power, discipline and a goal in mind: he wanted to attend post-secondary. All his life, he was bullied by his peers and told he could never achieve his goals.

We worked hard every day. He took his studies very seriously and was an inspiration to watch. I would visit with him around noon and we would make lunch together. After lunch we would work on Math problems. Then we would go for a walk outside if the weather was nice and talk about life; he was very curious about the world and always had many questions. After our walk, we would focus on other subjects like History or Biology. We used flash cards and videos as learning aids. He was always very eager to try different methods and learn as much as he could.

When the time came, he applied to every single college and university in the city. We waited and waited, and slowly started receiving letters… of rejection. I saw the disappointment in his eyes each time but he always kept his hopes up. Finally he received an acceptance letter to a smaller community college. I had never seen such a reaction! He jumped up and down, ran around the house squealing in joy, hugging everyone. When he finally calmed down and sat down, he looked at me and said “Thank you”.

I knew that I had made a difference in his life, just by being present and supporting him to be as independent and determined as possible. He had become more than just my client. He had become part of my life.

The way I see it, being a Community Support Worker, you are so much more than just your job title. You are a mentor, a friend, a counsellor, a voice of reason, an advisor, a shoulder to cry on, an advocate. You help these individuals shape their lives and guide them towards what benefits them most. You teach and help maintain their independence, their dignity, and their wellbeing. You make a positive difference in people’s lives. You are the change you want to see in the world.

My years of experience lead me to my current role as an Admissions Advisor at Drake Medox College today. My goal is to help others realize and pursue their dreams of a career in healthcare. If my story has inspired you and you would like to learn more about our new 6 month Community Support Worker Program, please call me at 604-629-0196.

Kinga Kapas
Admissions Advisor

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“We highly regard Community Support Work related schooling/credentials when making hiring decisions. The schooling indicates to us that applicants have some systematic training in the field and are passionate about quality care; this means they are likely to be high performers and stay longer because they fully understand what the job involves. Retention is a huge consideration, those that are likely to stay longer will always be highly sought after as it takes time to build working relationships and relationships with person served.”

Robin W.
HR Generalist

“Thank you Drake Medox College for assisting us in our hiring. We gained 5 staff from our posting and hope to gain more. Again our gratitude for producing high caliber members of the health care industry.”

Leo Monterola
Director of Care
Carlton Gardens Care Centre

“Please find attached the attendance and evaluations for all of the students who completed their practicum with us from February 8th – 15th. It was great to speak with their buddies because they all had such positive feedback, and really enjoyed working with the students. We really enjoy having the students here, and we look forward to working with you more in the future!”

Anja Meier
Human Resources Coordinator
Greater Vancouver Community Services Society

Success Story

Program: ESL / HCA Drake Medox College helped me to achieve my main goal – to become a Healthcare Assistant. They helped me also to become more confident in aspects of speaking and understanding. The ESL-HCA Program at Drake Medox College is the best study program I’ve been to. My Instructors were very supportive. My first impression of the ESL Program was “same old basic English again,” but I was wrong. I thought I didn’t need it because I can speak English. The ESL classes helped me to know how to pronounce properly, use proper grammar and even to create a formal paragraph. The important thing that the ESL Program did for me is to boost my confidence and to mold me into “a chocolate diamond” as Ate Myrine always says. The ESL-HCA Program is worth it and I enjoyed every class I attended. In several months I developed as an open-minded person, a knowledgeable student, a passionate Healthcare practitioner and a fluent user of the English language. As I move toward my new career, the ESL Program contributed a big part to my future work because I have learned how to be a good listener, a good reader and a good communicator. Indeed, I have become “ a diamond.” I am very thankful to Drake Medox College and my supportive Instructors for helping me along the way!

~ Jeanne Parilla ESL - HCA