A Testimonial from one of our VIU Practicum Students

Alise McKenzie is a practicum student in her 3rd year of studies in the Child and Youth Care Program at VIU. She had heard of Big Brothers and was volunteering at the Workability Farm when she got to know Paulyne and when practicum time in her program came along, Paulyne offered her an opportunity to work with us!

Alise is working at Springfield Elementary School in Parksville where she is involved in In-School Mentoring (she mentors 3 girls and 1 boy) and also facilitates the Go Girls Program. “I really was excited to do one on one mentoring because before that I had only worked with groups of kids”, she said. “This practicum has really given me the opportunity to practice my skills as well as to get integrated into the community.” When asked what challenges she has encountered so far, she said “Sometimes they have a hard time opening up. I have also encountered a few behavioral challenges but nothing overwhelming. But I really see the benefits of mentoring to the kids, they get to have one on one attention that they desperately need and I have learned that to befriend a child, you need to meet them at their level.

Her feedback on facilitating the Go Girls program has been equally positive, “I run one group of 6 girls in grades 6 and 7. I have never ran a group by myself before so it has been a real growth experience for me I have also learned leadership skills