“I wasn’t even out of school yet when I applied to work at Phoenix - I was still working on my honours thesis. I pulled out my notes from a youth care class where I found a list of agencies in Halifax. I wasn’t very familiar with the non-profit agencies in the city at this point, so the list helped. I just started applying to many of them. Lucky for me, Phoenix hired me!
"I love it at Phoenix. There is opportunity to move around within the agency, have different experiences… and I love what Phoenix stands for. In the beginning, I stayed with Phoenix because it was what worked for me at the time. But, as I’ve learned more and watched programs grow, my love for Phoenix has just grown too.
“After working in a few roles, I’ve found my comfort-level – my footing – working at the drop-in centre. I love it because we get to see youth grow and overcome their obstacles every day. Youth come and go as they decide. They may come back to the centre two years after leaving, eager to tell us what they’ve been doing for those years, how far they’ve come – how much they have accomplished.
“One youth in particular that I worked with for a few years, and continue to work with, has faced a lot of obstacles and barriers. Over the last two years, he has grown and eliminated many of those barriers that he was facing and putting up for himself. He has grown, matured and now reaches out and accepts help when needed. He’s attending school and building for a career he wants. I consider it special to have witnessed his growth and been able to support him through it.
“Phoenix youth are resilient. We’re here to help them along the way, but the youth are the ones that do all the work. Despite whatever is blocking them, they get through it. It’s one of the most important things that motivates me to come to work each day.
“That and the staff here. Working Monday to Friday with this team, you really get to know your teammates. They’re like family. They’re my home away from home.”
Andy started working with Phoenix in December 2007.
She is a full-time Case Manager at Phoenix Centre for Youth and is pursuing her Bachelor of Social Work via distance education at the University of Manitoba.