Thankful for a Safe Place to Grow
Vicky vividly remembers the day that God answered her prayer about work. She was working at a popular coffee shop and had just had a very difficult exchange with a customer. She was already trying to adjust to a for-profit business environment after several years of having worked at a not-for-profit coffee shop; but this particular customer experience was a tipping point.
“I remember going into the back room to collect myself and praying, ‘God, you have to help me find something new. I can’t do this anymore.’,” she recalls.
Turns out God was not only listening, God was already acting. Before her shift was even finished, her cousin Joel walked into the coffee shop and told her about the place where he was working: Communitas. He thought it would be the perfect place for Vicky too. She applied, was hired and has been here for more than 8 years. She feels strongly that God called her here.
I didn’t have an end goal in mind but I had a palpable desire to work with people and really be a part of their lives. – Vicky, manager of Supported Independent Living
During her time at Communitas, Vicky has worked in various services supporting people living with mental health challenges. She says it was a steep learning curve at first but each role has challenged her and helped her to develop different skills. When she made the decision to return to school to complete her degree, her supervisors and coworkers cheered her on.
This year, she began a new role as a manager for Supported Independent Living, a service that provides recovery support and life-skills training to individuals living in community. Transitioning into a managerial role has been interesting for someone who never saw herself as a leader.
“I felt a prompting this year to develop my leadership skills and I’ve found that I really like this role,” she says. “I like to be the person who cultivates a strong team by encouraging them and empowering them in their skills.”
She firmly believes that a strong team delivers a strong service and while each person doesn’t have to be well-rounded, a team does. She’s grateful for a diverse team that’s eager to learn from one another. She’s also grateful for the people that are supported through SIL.
“I love seeing people succeed and see them accomplish their goals despite the curve balls that might come their way,” she says.
Vicky wants to continue to develop in this field and is planning to return to graduate school in the future with the goal of becoming a counselor. And while she has made no secret of this ambition, she has received nothing but encouragement and support for this desire.
“The staff at Communitas have encouraged me to set my own goals,” she says. “It’s a great, safe place to learn and grow. I’m so thankful for my time here.”