Behaviour Consultant (supporting children with autism and their families).
Why did you decide to volunteer to teach the Free To Be program?
I was looking for a way to become more involved in the community. In the past, I have primarily worked with very young children; however, last year I worked in the Burnaby School District with grades 4-7 students. I feel that this age group is often overlooked when it comes to the importance of supporting their social-emotional health and well-being. When I came across the FTB program, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to support children and youth across the Lower Mainland.
What gets your excited to jump out of bed in the morning?
After I’ve had my coffee and walked my rambunctious dog Justice, I am ready to take on the day! What I love most about my job is that every day is different. Despite the challenges that may present themselves, there are always successes to celebrate. The cuddles from the kiddos don’t hurt either ☺
What is something you are proud of?
High school was extremely challenging for me and there was a time where I didn’t think that attending post-secondary education was a possibility. However, following high school, I took some time off to travel and do some soul searching. I had always been passionate about working with children; therefore, I decided to take a chance and apply to university where I was accepted and completed an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Studies and a citation degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Following my undergraduate studies, I decided to continue my education with a focus on Early Childhood and Special Education and I am proud to say that I have recently completed a Master’s Degree in Education from The University of British Columbia.
In your mind what is the most important thing that Free To Be teaches?
Not only does FTB encourage the exploration of individual strengths and characteristics, but it also teaches children how to empower others to recognize their unique strengths and characteristics. I believe that in doing so, FTB helps to create positive relationships among students, overall creating a school community in which students feel safe and supported to learn about themselves and the world around them.
If you could go back and give your 12-year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something, anything is possible…