From Participant to Junior Staff
A long-standing tradition at Rossbrook House is hiring staff from within. Many Junior Staff are a participant first. We’re proud to be able to give so many young people in our community their first job!
One of the Junior Staff hires is Dale. He started dropping in to Rossbrook House when he was 9 years old. Dale proudly became a member of the Junior Staff team when he was 13-years-old, something he has wanted to do for years.
“If I’m being completely honest, I was ten years old when I first thought about being a Junior Staff,” Dale said. “It’s crazy to think that all of these programs at Rossbrook House have helped me become a Junior Staff. Going from being a little kid in the programs we have; Leadership, Learning Always. It’s a big process but it happened.”
After being a part of the Leadership Program, a teen as young as 13 years old can apply for a Junior Staff position. Staff will get involved in helping them to apply for and pick up the personal identification that is required.
“Sheila (Learning Always Coordinator/Junior Staff Supervisor) offered me the job. I didn’t have a birth certificate,” Dale shared. “She helped me with the process of getting my birth certificate. Rossbrook House paid for it too, and I’m really grateful for that. She also told me how to get my Social Insurance Number and how to set up a bank account.”
Rossbrook House drives participants home at the end of each evening. Getting to Rossbrook House is up to each individual child. In 2019 when Dale’s family was moving, he shared his concern with Sheila about it being too far to walk. They discussed his need for bus tickets. After Sheila mentioned this to a board member, they volunteered to provide bus tickets for Dale and his siblings.
Dale was one of the youth speakers at the 2019 No Child Alone dinner and spoke in front of over 500 guests. He shared his Rossbrook House experiences and mentioned this generous gift. That sparked others to start donating bus ticket funds for participants.
Sheila said that today many more children are asking for bus tickets to get to Rossbrook House as many families have moved farther out of the area to find housing.
Supporters like those who donate funds for bus tickets, staff who take time to help a youth navigate applications, and youth who are planning for their futures- this is all a part of the long history that makes up Rossbrook House.
“At my age, there’s a lot of things that could be happening. I could be doing the wrong things, following the wrong crowd,” Dale said. “Rossbrook House helps you stay in the right lane. There are people here you know you can talk to, you know you can trust. And they can help keep you on the right path.”
Dale will be co-hosting the No Child Alone Dinner in April 2023 with Rossbrook House Board Director, Colleen Simard.