When my husband and I first arrived in Nova Scotia a couple months ago, it was a pretty special moment. We were driving down the road that we now live on in Hubbards and as we took a turn, there was the most gorgeous view of a sailing club. There were sail boats and people all around St. Margaret’s Bay. In that moment, I felt this overwhelming and effervescent feeling of “we’ve come home” , even though Nova Scotia isn’t our first home. We chose to be here. We don’t live by the typical label of CFAer’s (Come From Away) but rather we’re CBCer’s (Come By Choice). Given some of the challenges that have happened over the past couple of years, this moment of arriving and feeling like we belonged has been sustaining and is a cherished memory!
I first heard of Phoenix through the Community Sector Council. Even though I learned about other organizations, it was Phoenix that kept coming up in conversations surrounding leadership, financial responsibility, larger players in the non-profit world and the Government of Nova Scotia. Everyone spoke so highly of Phoenix.
The combination of the positive conversations and my background as a social worker for at-risk children and youth really was a motivator to pursue Phoenix. Looking at it now, coming to Phoenix was like coming home to my roots of social work and helping youth and their families.
During my second week here, the staff were having a BBQ at the Phoenix Youth and Community Centre in Mulgrave Park to mark the end of their staff fitness challenge. I really got to meet everyone at this party. It was great to see everyone laughing and hear about all the fun they had during the challenge. Meeting Suzy from PYCC was a standout moment. She didn’t even say hello but walked right over and gave me a big hug. I will always remember how Wonder Woman (Suzy’s nickname) gave me my first Phoenix hug.
The people of Phoenix are the reasons why I come in every day.
The staff are beyond dedicated, committed and truly wear their hearts on their sleeves. They come to work ready to support, help and advocate for these youth, and always go above and beyond!
The volunteers are also such an integral part of this organization. I’m a volunteer on the Board of Directors for the Hubbards Barn Association, who hosts the Saturday Farmer’s Market May through October. I know how volunteering can almost be like a second job - you’re always on call for anything. The same is true for Phoenix volunteers - we wouldn’t be able to get things done without them.
Last but not least, Phoenix Youth are VALIANT, which means courageous and determined. I think it takes a lot of courage for the youth to own up to what’s happening in their lives and to seek out assistance. I couldn’t imagine not having the supports that I did when I was their age - you certainly recognize that even more when you get older. Once they have that support and assistance, you see their determination to overcome barriers and follow through on their goals. Phoenix youth are truly inspirational!
Christine joined the Phoenix team in May, 2017.