PLAN has a team of six Mentors who work closely with families and people with disabilities to build personal support networks and plan to live good lives in the community.
To provide some insight into the role, we recently asked our Mentors a few questions about their work.
Here’s what Sophie had to say:
What’s your favourite part about being a Mentor?
My favourite part about being a Mentor is building connections and friendships and finding creative ways to celebrate Lifetime Member’s gifts. I am deeply grateful for being around such extraordinary people and families, I find it very inspiring. I love to see the light in people’s eyes when they feel their gifts are being recognized and built upon, when they are being heard.
What have you learned about yourself from doing this work?
I am learning to overcome the fear of asking. People want to connect and be connected as much as I do. I’ve learned how listen on a deeper level. Sometimes the quieter the voice, the more profound the wisdom. I am daily learning just how important each of our contributions are in our communities. I’ve learned that the more diversity I bring into my life, the more understanding and adaptable I can become. I have learned to open my heart more.
What’s the biggest challenge you find in your work?
Regular scheduling and constant planning can be a challenge, working with so many schedules and networks takes patience and stamina. Boundaries are sometimes challenging too, although my colleagues are time and again an invaluable resource in managing this aspect of the work. The highs and lows of the human journey are extreme with this work, which is both it’s greatest challenge and greatest gift.
How do you describe your work to others?
I tell them I work to build and maintain personal support networks developed through Asset Based Community Development principles. That means I bring people who face social isolation together with others in the community based on their passions and interests. I try to take the time to explain PLAN and its greater goal of creating peace of mind for families around the wellbeing of their children who face diverse challenges. I get to celebrate the contributions of an incredible group of people with their own communities and beyond!
We’ll be sharing posts from our other Mentors in the coming weeks. We’re also looking to hire a new Mentor to join the team. If you’re interested, please click here to see the posting.