Kate Walsh

Key Worker, Phoenix House
Planner. Coffee Lover. Dancer.

When I was on my student placement at Phoenix, it was done before I knew it. The time went by so fast. I had felt like I had barely scratched the surface here. 

Phoenix youth are incredible. They are the reason why I do this work. They are always teaching me and I’m always learning from them. They are so resilient, no matter how many challenges they may face. They find ways to overcome their barriers. 

I’m starting the process now for volunteering with the Community Justice Society. I came on this opportunity through Phoenix, actually. I’m really excited for that. And I’m actually volunteering on the board for The Boobie Ball. The Boobie Ball is a fundraiser for breast cancer. It’s an event that happens every year but this will actually be the first one to happen in Atlantic Canada. We’re doing some major fundraising for the event that is happening in October. 

The youth are honestly so sweet. They really just become a part of your life when you are working here. The youth allow us into these really intimate moments of their lives. When they’re gone, you carry a little piece of them in your heart. Even if I’m not working I think about if they made it to their appointment on time or wonder how things are working out for them. Being here… it’s what I love to do. 

One thing that really stands out to me is my first camping trip with the youth on Prince Edward Island. We had such bad weather! We made the most of it though.  We went to one of the theme parks and we had a couple of these really tough guys who didn’t really want to do anything at the park. I convinced them to go on a ride with me and their faces just lit up and I could see them just having fun. They got to be teenagers for a minute. They were enjoying a new experience, whole-heartedly, in the moment. It was really cool to see them just open up and have a good time. It was really special. It was just the best time. 

This fall, I am doing my Bachelor of Social Work through distance at the University of Manitoba - I’m starting a new chapter.

Working at Phoenix has allowed me to learn the skill of patience. I’ve learned that just because I might want something for a youth or want them to go in a certain direction, doesn’t mean that that that’s their goal or what they’re ready for. I’ve learned to meet the youth where they are and let them take the lead. 

Kate has been working with Phoenix since April 2015. She first started at Phoenix on a student placement with NSCC’s Child and Youth Program.