Courtney Martin and Anna Grenier of Volunteer Services
THUNDER BAY, ON ---- April 20, 3015 --- Courtney Martin and Anna Grenier of Volunteer Services The Provincial Partnership Council has awarded St. Joseph's Care Group (SJCG) of Thunder Bay, Ontario, the 2014 Ontario Employer designation. This award recognizes extraordinary employers that are supporting the futures of significant numbers of high school students across Ontario. SJCG is the only Northwestern Ontario organization receiving this annual designation.
“Fostering an environment of learning that ensures a positive student experience is essential to future recruitment of healthcare workers in our community. That's why, at St. Joseph's Care Group, students are welcomed as valued team members who help us achieve our core values of providing care, compassion and commitment to our clients,” says Tracy Buckler, President and CEO. “It is an honour to be recognized for our work with high school students.”
Kaylin Fehrling, 17, is a grade 11 co-op student from Superior C.V.I. Over a four month period, she had the opportunity to visit and connect with seniors at SJCG - Bethammi Nursing Home. Kaylin assisted residents with bingos and craft activities. She also had the opportunity to porter residents to entertainment events and to go on outings.
“I wanted to do a co-op placement with a long-term care home because my grandparents all passed away before I was born, so I was never able to meet them,” Fehrling explains. “With this placement, I was able to bond with people of the same age group as my grandparents, and to develop friendships.”
SJCG Volunteer Services staff works closely with local high school co-op teachers to coordinate placement opportunities for students preparing for a career in health care. The goal is to foster youth engagement, education and experience while providing practical training.
For co-op student Kaylin Fehrling, the best part of her co-op experience was what she learned about herself. “Before this placement, I was very shy and timid, but it enabled me to step outside of my comfort zone and interact with new people. It boosted my self-confidence tremendously and I now want to work in health care, or in long-term care. Most of all, I've gained a deep empathy and compassion for those with disabilities and a newfound respect for seniors.”
In addition to co-op program opportunities, high school students are involved with SJCG through youth volunteer placements, family volunteer engagement opportunities, and school tours. SJCG also offers an innovative and comprehensive Take Your Kids to Work Day each November for the young students of SJCG employees.
St. Joseph's Care Group employs approximately 1,800 people in Thunder Bay. The Ontario Ministry of Education has presented a commemorative plaque and accompanying certificate to SJCG.