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Not being able to go to continue my job is something that drastically affected my life. I loved my job so much!! I was a Child and Youth Worker in an alternative education expulsion program. It was an adventure based program, which meant we took our students on monthly camping expeditions that lasted anywhere from 2-7 days.

Dog sledding and ice climbing in Halliburton, kayaking in Killarney, caving in Metcalf, and backpacking along the Bruce Trail in Tobermory. I seriously wish I knew this program existed when I was in high school. Students in the program are expelled for various reasons, but the most common thread among our students was lack of a positive male role models or a father figure. There was an education component to the program but the main focus was on the social-emotion wellbeing of the students and therapeutic groups. We helped our students deal with difficulties at home and in the community and helped them address behaviours or faulty thinking that got them into trouble. The program was built on experiential learning and maintained success largely because of the positive relationships students learn to develop with staff and peers.

It was a huge part of my life and suddenly I was on the other side of things. I was no longer the one helping, I was the one needing help and it was hard for me to accept.