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When Dreams Meet Opportunity

Meet Austin.

Through years of getting to know Austin, we at COR have become increasingly aware of his passion for recycling. It’s no secret that when you see his engaging smile around our studio, cruising the neighbourhood or cleaning up many communities, that he will have some form of recycling with him. As Austin has grown into the man he is today, his innate care for plastic waste has followed closely beside him. He has made great efforts to transform this passion into filling a very serious gap in this city: the proper way to recycle. As we dug deeper into this issue, Austin helped us to realize just how much he knows about proper disposal of waste and how far we still need to go. This gap in knowledge is just one thing that Austin is actively bringing awareness to. What we admire about Austin, though, is his inspiration to do more than just talk the talk.

We teamed up with him in his quest to rid this city of improper recycling due to the lack of recycling literacy there is. Though this is an overwhelmingly large feat, we believe Austin has the drive and fire in his soul to do it. Every dream must begin with an idea, so we combined our hearts, and our minds and got to work.

This summer, Austin, Chelsi and a few others at COR created an easy-to-follow informative household video based on the city’s guidelines for proper recycling. Together, we then took to the streets of Regina, knocking on doors and setting up appointments to share this message and begin filling this gap. Austin is laying his own foundation for a bright future based on his vision for a cleaner city and a cleaner world.

It’s people like Austin that truly change the world. By not settling for good enough or turning a blind eye to important issues, Austin has turned his passion into a much needed resource for our city.

Austin, you inspire us to believe that we all have the ability to make positive impacts on the environment and in the lives of others around us. Thank you for being you.

 

Defining Your Role, with Jamie Carter

Two years ago, we connected with Jamie Carter to talk about her ambitions, dreams, and employment with Regina business, iQ Metrix. This week, we were able to reconnect with Jamie. 

Jamie has continued her employment at iQ Metrix for almost three years (since January of 2017) and has developed an exciting rapport with her colleagues and bosses. Her fantastic work ethic and a gift of gab has opened up a universe of opportunities and led her to the University of Regina, where she began her journey in education. In her own words,

“There is no time like the present to get what you want!”

Now years later, following our initial encounter with Jamie, we revisited the discussion about her employment. To jog our memory, we asked her a little bit about the work that iQ Metrix does and she described her current role with the company.

IQ Metrix is a software programming company. They are different. Everyone there seems to be having so much fun, and they enjoy chatting with me! They’re always busy but seem to be happy! Let me say, though, maybe a little too busy! . . . I’ve gotten more confidence in what I’m doing.”

Full of humour and character, Jamie chuckled at her response. When asked what her favourite part about working was, she replied,

“I like getting my workout with deliveries, and I like joking around with everybody. Thumbs up for iQ Metrix!”

Jamie was excited to add her current role as a University of Regina student to her resume. When we met two years ago, she was adamant about wanting to return to school and pursue more education and today, she can proudly say that she’s been attending classes for three semesters. When asked about the courses she’s taken and currently enrolled in, Jamie explained, 

“Two semesters of Cree and this year, one Indigenous studies class so far. I want to take classes that have to do with First Nations. I’m proud of that.”

Where she once explained school as being scary, Jamie now seems filled with motivation and dedication — describing University as: 

“…Interesting. My professors are interesting. What I am learning is interesting. I want to be a receptionist someday and work my way up, so I need to go to school for that.”

With such a busy daily life filled with meaningful employment and education, one might think that Jamie would also find time to relax. When asked about her schedule, Jamie replied, 

“I’m busy six days a week, man. I don’t have time to relax! But I suppose I like to watch T.V. at home and play with my cat. Just chill- but my [usual] plan for every day is reading. I like to get my brain practice. Not University books always. I just like to wake up my brain after its’ weekend sleep. I need to wake it up and get it back in an education mood. I take it seriously.”

Hanging out in the peripheral of Jamie’s life, we have noticed amazing things about her journey. One quality we appreciate about Jamie is her ability to maintain her unique spark and humorous edge. She loves to laugh and aims to make you smile at every turn. We also appreciate her feeling of accomplishment through the development of her character. Two years ago, Jamie was defining what meaningful employment and education meant to her. Today, reconnecting has illustrated how profoundly she owns her accomplishments. There is a growing hustle in Jamie that inspires us every time we can reunite and celebrate her. This hustle is driven, respectful of its boundaries, and humbling to the untrained eye.

Thank you, Jamie! Thank you, iQ Metrix! Thank you to the University of Regina Campus for All. Today, we acknowledge and celebrate you all for your progressiveness with inclusive employment and building love within our communities.

4to40 Transit Travel Training featured on Global News Regina

Regina program helps those with disabilities transition from Paratransit to city buses

Transit Travel Training

For people with disabilities, getting around the city can be daunting. But a unique program launched last year is making a difference in helping those individuals gain freedom and independence.

The Travel Training Program started as a pilot project in 2018 and is a partnership between the city, the University of Regina and Creative Options Regina.

Independence is one of the greatest things that’s come from this program,” said Ben Morris, creative director with Creative Options Regina. “It’s helped people get out there easily and as much as they want to.

“The first person who went through with us in its trial year was actually able to find gainful employment, based on the fact that they had learned to use conventional transit.”

“You had to book [Paratransit] in advance, and sometimes, if you wanted a trip the day of, you weren’t guaranteed a trip,” Pagan said.

But that all changed last year, when the pair made the jump to city transit after graduating from the program.

“We’ve been able to get around the whole city, basically,” Paige said. “Some places that we’ve never been before; other places we are going constantly because it’s our favourite hangout place. It’s just a sense of freedom where we don’t have to rely on Paratransit all the time.”

When it comes to making the switch, it comes down to fear for many. But thanks to transit travel trainers like Dylan Morin, who also went through the program, that fear quickly goes away.

“I’ve seen growth in a lot of people and hopefully it gets the demand off of Paratransit and more on regular transit,” Morin said. “It gives you the freedom and the chance to go wherever you want, whenever you want with hands-on training.”

So far, Morris is calling the program a success, saying the demand is increasing with two people currently on the waiting list.

“We’ve had quite a few asks to come out and speak to different organizations around the city, and every time we are there, we are getting questions about accessing the program,” Morris said.

For Pagan and Paige, the program means new opportunities and a new sense of confidence.

“You can’t live in fear,” Pagan said. “How do you know if you don’t try? I’ve learned that since I moved out, I always try new things and this is one of the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

View the article on the Global News Regina website.

 

Adopting Gentle Teaching is a unique process for everyone because it becomes a natural element within us

adopting gentle teachingThe person I aspire to continue to be:
Gentle teaching was given to me as an analogy in the form of a hat. A hat is worn during the day, you can choose what hat you wear, or you can avoid the hat that day altogether, but at the end of the day, you hang that hat up. Gentle Teaching cannot operate with authenticity and genuineness if you hang up this philosophy at the end of your support time or when you interact with others. Adopting Gentle Teaching is a unique process for everyone because it becomes a natural element within us at different points, serving different purposes. It has transformed the person that I continue to be each day by allowing me to find positivity in any situation and seek the optimism required to solve problems.

It has shown me that all growth initially depends on identifying necessary change within ourselves to accommodate others first. However, the power of relationship capacity building allows us to progress from giving people what they desire (showing that with us, they are safe and loved), into compromising and then into natural win-win outcomes, which is one of the most meaningful feelings of growth and connection. Keeping Gentle Teaching within my character has taken me to new heights as an individual. It directly impacts the service I provide through COR and simultaneously teaching me the value of being present in the lives of loved ones. It has taught me the importance of my presence and how to project my energy in a loving, safe and welcoming way to those I communicate with.

gentle teaching has taught me-sawyer quote

A large portion of communication is non-verbal and based on body language, facial expression and our eyes/hands as tools to deliver a safe, never-violent message. Non-violence requires an understanding of what the other person perceives as violent – not what we view as violence. Gentle Teaching has taught me perseverance by seeing setbacks, failures, relapses and struggles as necessary stepping-stones to success and achievement together.

For example, diet and physical exercise are seen as a daunting, uncomfortable experience to most, yet it is essential for a healthy, balanced life. From the beginning of serving individuals within COR, this concept has been no exception. The setbacks, lack of motivation, struggles to engage in healthy dietary choices and adopting health-balanced lifestyles have all been very prevalent. The persistence and patience acquired through this philosophy, however, has disallowed me to give up on people in their process of change. Slowly but surely, we make incremental gains in change, transforming into habits and a valued component of our time spent together. This is only possible through relationship building due to three distinct reasons: they will see that we aren’t going to leave their lives or give up on them, no matter what we go through, we go through it together and lastly, our persistence is received as the care to see their quality of life improve.

Gentle Teaching has taught me the importance of expanding relationships as the core of providing meaning in others lives -it will never be what we do or say that is remembered, but how we make others feel through the time spent together. Treating the janitor of a building in the same fashion we treat the owner of that same building is who I will continue to be and strive to empower others to be as well.

Sawyer,

COR Family Member

 

Thank You Mr. Mikes!

Regina charities get a hand from Mr. Mikes

Regina, SK, Canada / 620 CKRM The Source | Country Music, News, Sports in Sask

Two local charities will be receiving $500 each thanks to the Mr Mikes Steakhouse “Deeds Well Done” program.

Organizations were nominated by costumers between November and December last year.

General Manager of the Grasslands Ryan Pylatuk said the winning charities were then based on the impact they have on the community and willingness to help the most vulnerable.

“Family Service Regina was chosen. They work with seniors, adults, children and pregnant and parenting teens to help strengthen individuals and families by creating safe, inclusive and vibrant communities,” he said.

For the location on the east, Plyatuk said Creative Options was selected.

The restaurant chain further noted this provides them the chance to recognize and give back to those who contribute towards making the community a better place.

https://www.620ckrm.com/2019/01/20/201425/

 

COR 100 Acts of Kindness 2019

Value. It’s something that doesn’t need to be earned. We all have value. Within our own circle of support that value is magnified and can be easily recognized. But every once in a while a person we may not even know does something special and it takes us back. Maybe they spark up a conversation with us at the coffee shop when we least expect it, or maybe they hold open a door or plug our parking meter without us even knowing. How do we recognize and give thanks to the people that brighten our days?

100 Acts of Kindness is back and we are roaring into 2019 with all of the momentum from last year’s campaign! 2018 highlighted some of the unsung heroes of our city who make the ordinary extraordinary, and make those impossible tasks, possible! 100 Acts of Kindness 2019 is going to take last year’s nominations to new heights and continue to spread the love in different ways. Our Street Team is adding new members each week as we invite last year’s recipients to pay the love forward to new unsuspecting superheroes. Join us this winter in turning our snowball into an avalanche!

Nominate a community hero today!

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

 

Nominate someone special in your community

Take a peek at who we celebrated in our 2018 campaign here: COR AOK’s 2018.

 

AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

Meet Mitchell Anderson.

Have you ever worked on a project that you’re so proud of you want to share it with everyone? Mitchell has! In fact, ever since the travel training program began he has been thinking about and working on ways to help lift it to new heights. In his own words Mitchell stated, “This program is for everyone. We could all use it. It’s great for the environment and it helps people believe in themselves and their abilities.”

Mitchell’s involvement in this collaborative initiative (Campus for All, COR and City of Regina) as a travel trainer has been inspiring people of all ages and abilities to strive for greater independence. When asked what he has enjoyed most about the program he stated that, “after doing it for the past few months, it’s been great to learn from people and hear about other people’s lives and experiences with using the bus. It’s also been pretty neat learning about how to adapt my language to help others understand and learn about how the bus helps people in wheelchairs. It would be great to learn about how the graduates are doing; what they liked and what they struggle with.”

AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

Being well spoken and accommodating is only one of the many talents this trainer possesses. He manages to hold down a second job with the Conexus Arts Centre in the evenings and is an active idea-man. He enjoys science music and one day would like to write his own book. Eventually his goal is to become a teacher’s assistant. He is always on the lookout for new ways to promote the travel training program to new audiences and is never happy with ‘just because.’

Some of the feedback Mitchell has been getting from the project after the first nine months into its pilot year has been very positive. He said that, “some of the people have been telling me that they like the fact that they can go out and do it on their own. This was inspiring to hear.” He went on to explain, “If people only knew how easy it was to get around, public transit would be used by everyone.”

Looking back on the last nine months it’s hard to imagine this program being as successful without the hard work of Mitchell. He is extremely humble when it comes to his strengths but when asked to elaborate on what his future holds he said, “Well something that people don’t know about me is that I like to travel. I like to talk about my trip to Vienna, Austria and Paris, France. Someday I’d like to go back; maybe even with my girlfriend!

Thank you Mitchell for teaching Regina’s finest about the program. It takes strong advocates like you to truly bring these things to life!

 

Watch Mitchell on AMI tv: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

For more information, visit: www.4to40.ca

 

Ben Morris,

Director of Storytelling

 

COR featured on AMI: Our Community

In August 2018, COR was featured in a documentary that aired to a national audience highlighting our approach to services. A special thank you to the AMI team and Halter Media for capturing our story so beautifully! We are very appreciative.

To learn more: https://www.ami.ca/category/our-community/media/creative-options-regina

People experiencing disability often don’t have the same options afforded to them as everyone else. Through personalized support services and the Gentle Teaching philosophy, Creative Options Regina aims to change that.

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