From Participant to Employee: Philip’s Progress through LNV

philip
Philip poses for a photo at the Lifetime Networks Ice Cream Social;  Philip’s roles at LNV include participant, volunteer, and employee. 

Polite, soft-spoken, and keenly intelligent, Philip has dipped his toes in many academic waters, from maths and sciences to computer programming to music. For the past year he has been enrolled in an accounting program through Camosun College. Philip likes the objective nature of accounting, and enjoys finding answers to problems. However, he is not sure that accounting is really where his passion lies. Philip’s main interests seem to revolve around teaching.

Philip has been involved in the employment program at Lifetime Networks for several years. He initially began as a program participant pursuing self-employment opportunities. Working in part with EntreActive, an entrepreneurship program for people with disabilities, he developed an idea for an interactive teaching website, where students and others could go to learn and practice advanced mathematics. Although he was able to learn the necessary computer programming skills, Philip felt that he did not have the qualifications required to teach the very advanced math lessons that his website was meant to support.

His plans for entrepreneurship were put on hold, but Philip continued to be a part of the employment program at Lifetime Networks. Never an average participant, Philip has often volunteered his expertise in various programs, proving himself to be a valuable asset to the organization. He has taught math skills to the Being a Citizen classes, and has assisted in the employment program as a mentor to other participants as well as an assistant facilitator, standing in for the regular facilitators to run workshops when needed.

Recently, Philip was formally hired by Lifetime Networks as a Community Support Worker to provide mathematics tutoring to an individual who is working to complete his GED. So far, Philip has shown great aptitude in this role, impressing his supervisor with his research into different teaching approaches for memory retention in a way that truly reflects LNV’s commitment to a person-centred approach. Philip reflects that some of the administrative tasks of his role – keeping track of emails and schedules – have been difficult at times, but overall finds the position rewarding. He enjoys seeing the daily progression of the individual he supports. When asked what he likes best about his work as a CSW, he did not hesitate to answer: “When [the student] got his mark back from his exam, and he did well. That was the best part.”

Philip has not given up on his dream of starting his own website. His next step might be to work on increasing his math skills with some more advanced mathematics classes. In the meantime, he has found more tutoring positions coming his way, including a summer position teaching a young boy with a developmental disability. Philip hopes that his unique perspective as a person with a disability will allow him to connect with his clients in a way that other tutors have not been able to achieve.

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