Phoenix is necessary. Phoenix exists because there is a need for it.
I received my undergrad from Acadia in psychology; my parents are therapists so it was a natural progression. I minored in sociology and began volunteering with community organizations as my degree progressed. I started to notice all the problems that seemed to be individual were actually systemic. There is a time and a place for therapy, but I felt limited (by my psychology degree).
Looking at my skills and interest in addressing systems interchangeably, I started wondering what I could do. That’s when a friend suggested social work to me. I got my first placement as a student with Phoenix working at the shelter. I was completely scared because I had never worked with youth before. Within a month, I realized how amazing it all was. Everyday looks so different and the youth are so unique. Hearing problems and finding solutions kept me on my toes all day. I mean, the work has its challenges but the rewards are so diverse in themselves. Since then I’ve been a relief worker and a key worker.
What I love about this role now is that I have freedom to do outreach in the community; to see these youth in so many environments. I get to take the youth to school, to the beach, to get groceries. I get to see so many sides of their personalities. Every day looks different and I’m really privileged to walk alongside them in so many parts of their lives. It’s so much fun and so rewarding.
I had known this one particular youth before from my time as a Key Worker at the Shelter. I saw him navigate the systems to do what he needed to access Phoenix House. When I started my current role, he was the only youth that I already knew. I saw him when he was struggling and to see him now, he’s just flourishing. He graduated from high school, went to prom and everything. He still has some growing pains, but it’s been incredible to witness that transition.
Personally, I used to be very concerned about what other people thought. But this job, working with the challenges that we do, you have to become a bit more brazen and assertive. It’s helped me to become more confident and to be able to call it as it is. Those are skill sets that have made me succeed even more personally, and professionally in a lot of other ways. I was a meek little thing when I first came here and Phoenix has helped me grow. Phoenix has challenged me and helps me rise up.
Korinne has been working with Phoenix in various residential programs roles since 2013 and has been in her current role since mid-May 2017.