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This is Michael Wiebe. This is his WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Michael Wiebe. Michael is a Home Team Leader and has been at COR for two and a half years.

What brought you to COR?

I previously worked in construction for seven years and was ready for a change. I had no idea where I wanted to go next and my wife suggested I apply at Creative Options Regina. She knows people who support within COR and heard great things about the organization. I looked into COR and was hesitant at first, as I had zero experience, but decided to go out on a limb and give it a shot. Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting into, but that was one of the best decisions of my life.

Why do you stay?

I stay because I am passionate about working with people. Being able to be a part of these individual’s lives is incredibly humbling. The people within this organization have given me just as much love and support over the years as I have given to them.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about supporting with COR is that it doesn’t feel like a job. I show up and get to hang out with the boys I support and the team I support alongside. We play basketball, play video games, spend time outdoors and watch TV.

 

This is Daidre Delorme. This is her WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Daidre Delorme. Daidre is a SLP (Supported Independent Living) Support Worker and she has worked at COR for almost two years.

What brought you to COR?

I had experience working with at-risk youth who had disabilities. In the other organization I worked for, I felt like there was something missing in the way we provided support. I attended a Gentle Teaching training at COR one day and had a life changing experience. The focus was on relationships. It wasn’t about changing the individuals we support, but rather accepting who they are and supporting them in anything and everything they wanted to do. It was from then on that I knew I wanted to be a part of COR.

Why do you stay?

One reason is, I’ve learned a lot and I’m still learning everyday when I’m at COR. I’ve learned so much about caring for people and being there for them along with building meaningful relationships. I started to understand gentle teaching more each day I supported and the more I learned about it the more I love the approach of it. Another reason I stay is because I care for the people COR supports and happy I get to be a part of why they feel safe, happy, and loved.

What’s the best thing about your job?

How supported I feel by COR. It’s not just support from my entire team, but from everyone in the entire organization. We deal with struggles together, as a team and we face challenges, head on as a team. We go through things together as a team, and we all care for one another. That’s the most special part of working at COR.

What was the most impactful experience you had at COR?

It was when our team celebrated the one year anniversary of the individual I support. The girl planned a big party and I loved how happy it made her to see everything she had planned come to life. While celebrating her one year anniversary, I could see that she was feeling more safe and loved and all of us felt more connected through the experience. She even made each one of her supports a bracelet which I still wear till this day.

What do you wish people knew about COR?

It’s an amazing place where you get to build so many amazing and strong relationships. It changes the way you think about caring for people. I also don’t think of COR as a job or work. I feel very fortunate to be a part of COR and get to support along side so many amazing people and support some amazing people.

 

This is Julian Seilman. This is his WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Julian Seilman. Julian is a Home Support Worker and has been at COR for three and a half years. This is his why!

 

What  brought you to COR? 

In 2017, I started my application process to apply for a position at Creative Options Regina as it was recommended to me by a professor of mine.  At first, I was a little hesitant to apply because I did not feel confident in the skills I had.  After a coffee conversation with my professor, I was convinced to apply.  I heard COR’s presentations in a few of my classes with Michael and Jim and I loved the philosophy of the organization, supporting people in a culture of gentleness, rather than using physical management.  At COR, people are treated like people, they’re not defined by their disability and it was clear that everyone at COR was one big family!

Why  do you stay? 

I believe the work we do at COR makes a difference in the lives of those we support. It’s neat to see how much progress and personal growth the people I support and support with, have accomplished over the years.

What’s the best thing about  your  job? 

When you leave your support time you feel a sense of reward, you know you are making people happy and allowing them to create healthy lifestyle choices on their own.  I like making people happy and when I see the people around me smiling and laughing, it makes me happy and it’s such an awesome feeling!

What’s been the most impactful or meaningful experience you’ve had? 

When I first started to support at COR, the team I started with had other new supports starting at the same time as I did. The new supports and I created games with one of the guys we supported. The games we created impacted the life of this individual that it made his mother cry tears of joy during a visit to the mall. In the past, the individual would be steps ahead of his mother ignoring her, but this time during their visit, he talked with his mother and stayed by her side. It was such a meaningful experience and I will remember it for the rest of my life.

What do you wish others knew about supporting at COR? 

COR is not your typical job; the relationships you make become long-lasting friendships and everyone becomes like family. The activities they plan at COR are fun for all with arts, crafts, music, sports and BBQs. These activities bring everyone together! Also, the culture of gentleness grows on you and anyone who becomes a part of COR will grow as a person carrying these amazing experiences with them throughout their entire life.

 

Proud Recipient of the Starbucks Foundation 2020 Neighbourhood Grant

The COR Studio; More than Pencils, Paper, and Paint!
We are all sparks. We are all flashes of genius and we all have the potential to glow brighter than we ever dreamed. We all have ideas and carry sparks of potential. Every once in a while those ideas have the potential to ignite and if we are in the right place at the right time, that fire can turn ablaze in a way that is staggering.
In the summer of 2018 Creative Options Regina introduced the COR Studio to its supports and those they serve. It promised a place where all people could learn new skills. It demonstrated new ways to create connections. It has slowly become a hub in the COR community, and has put smiles on the faces of all who enter into its potential. But it has done one more thing: it attracted sparks.
Those sparks brought their ideas and those ideas have ignited into programming that people want to show up for. Passionate photographers are coming out to learn how to share their view of the world. Musicians who once marched to their own beat have found a place to nurture their unique interests. Even gamers and passionate readers have uncovered fellowship in this truly unique space.
It is our hope that by encouraging people to follow and share their passions with our community, we are also aiding in the development of our future leaders. People often believe that we need to grow taller and get higher than others to achieve or demonstrate our potential, but we often forget about the importance of mastery and growing stronger in our core before reaching new heights. By nurturing sparks, we are investing and strengthening in our own future.
Thank you for supporting our entrepreneurs, artists, and community difference makers. The work they do changes perspectives, challenges us to dig deeper, and learn more. The world needs sparks and thanks to the generosity of The Starbucks Foundation, Starbucks Canada and our local Starbucks on Gordon Rd., we are able to continue to serve our communities and help make them brighter!
On behalf of our entire COR family, THANK YOU!

This is Steph Gartel. This is her WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Steph Gartel. Steph is a Home Team Leader and has worked at COR for one year. This is her WHY!

What brought you to COR? 
My fiancé began to support at COR while I was supporting in a different organization. She would always come home with a smile on her face and would happily tell me about how incredible this organization is. After hearing about Gentle Teaching and how loving and accepting this organization was, I felt like I needed to be a part of it.

Why do you stay? 
I stay because I am valued, I am appreciated, and I am home. COR has such an inclusive community and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I feel blessed that I get to show love to the individuals that I support as they are more than deserving of it. Sometimes people just need a hug to feel better and I love that I can do that for them.

What’s the best thing about your job? 
The best thing about my job is the freedom to be myself and the growth that comes along with it. I came from an organization that didn’t allow me to freely express who I am as a person because my core values did not align with theirs. I often found myself being afraid to speak up on what really matters to me, which stopped my ability to grow both personally and professionally. I would often imagine my future, but I couldn’t see anything in it because my self-worth was slowly crashing. I am a very open being, but I began to become closed off, as I would get in trouble for expressing myself. When I came to COR, I found that a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders and I slowly began to come out my shell again. Every day at COR makes me feel free, welcomed, and accepted for everything that I am. I have grown so much and have become the best version of myself. I have never felt judged or unwanted and I thank the universe every day for bringing me to exactly where I need to be. I am always met with a smile from everyone in COR and I am always heard.

What’s been the most impactful or meaningful experience you’ve had? 
The most meaningful experiences I’ve had were the the moments when an individual that I supported said, ”you make me feel safe” and, “I love you, Steph.” When the individuals have said those things to me, it makes me feel like what I do really matters to them, like I make a positive difference in their lives. Anytime I hear it, it also fills my cup even more and it makes me feel like this is exactly where I belong.

What do you wish others knew about supporting at COR?
I wish others knew that supporting at COR is the most rewarding experience. There is so much room for growth and new opportunities. If I could go back to before I started supporting at COR, I would tell myself that I matter, I am loved, I am valuable, I am appreciated, and that there will always be room for constant growth in my life.

 

This is Matthew Chin. This is his WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Matthew Chin. Matt is the Director of Youth Supports and has worked at COR since 2011. This is his WHY!


What brought you to COR? 
I had just graduated with a Kinesiology Degree and was figuring out if I wanted to pursue further schooling. I decided to look for work in the meantime and my background in Adapted Physical Activity took me to the disability sector. I remember applying to a couple different community based organizations and in the process, my friend Shannon told me to check COR out. I looked them up and saw a couple job postings that were very different than others. It emphasized a desire to put relationships at the forefront of caregiving which made total sense to me. I met with Michael, the Executive Director and Jim, the Associate Executive Director and was immediately sold on the idea of COR and the positive impact they were trying to make.

Why do you stay? 
I stay because I truly believe in the vision of COR. To be a part of a community that has meaning and purpose makes it far more than just a job. For all of the challenging and stressful moments that I have experienced, there is fulfillment and joy in knowing that I am making a difference being part of COR.

What’s the best thing about your job? 
Definitely the best thing about my job is the people. COR does such an incredible job at creating a supportive and fun culture where people desire to connect with each other. The gentleness that we believe in extends to everyone connected with COR and it makes it so easy to build genuine relationships. The connection I’ve been able to make with people goes far beyond work.

What’s been the most impactful or meaningful experience you’ve had? 
The most impactful experiences that I have had are often tied to the most difficult experiences. When you go through an extremely challenging moment with someone where you both are left broken and questioning what you are doing, that often leads to moments of growth in a relationship that could not have been possible without that hard time. The other person begins to realize that you aren’t going anywhere and that you care about them despite all the rough interactions. That is when you see a trusting relationship begin to blossom.

What do you wish others knew about supporting at COR?
I wish others knew how important the support we provide to others is. How an act of kindness or words of encouragement have such a profound impact on the people around us. We have the privilege of being a crucial part of someone’s life journey and we get to show people every day what it truly means to feel safe and loved.

 

 

This is Michael Singer. This is his WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Michael Singer. Michael is a Support and has worked at COR for a year and a half. This is his WHY!


What brought you to COR? 
After roughly ten years working in various trades jobs, I was ready for a change. While I was lucky to meet a lot of amazing and hardworking people in that time, I never felt like my personality really fit in to that environment. At the time I was thinking about pursuing a career in nursing. A family member told me that I should look into COR, as it might be good experience for me if I did end up working in the health care field. I spent some time on the COR website, watching some of the videos and reading what they were all about. Their values matched up so well with my own, and I knew right then that COR was where I needed to be. You are always happy when you get the call finding out you got the job, but I have never been as excited as I was the day I got that call from COR.

Why do you stay? 
I love working at COR because I finally feel like I’m living with a sense of purpose, doing what I do. I know that the level of effort I put into my work makes a direct impact on the quality of life for the amazing people that I care so much about.  Bringing value to their lives makes me feel good about what I do.

What’s the best thing about your job? 
The best thing about my job is how amazing and close this community of people are. Over time I have formed so many great friendships with people who both live, and work at COR. I can go to any COR event and there is always people there that I am excited to see.  The people I support are not just, ”clients” or, ”participants.” They have honestly become part of my family and are involved in my life outside of work. I have had people that I support come cheer for me at my recreational hockey games, make birthday cards for my fiancé, send happy birthday videos to my brother, come to my house for bon fires, and I’ve taken them to my dad’s farm to visit with him and walk his dogs. One guy even joined my family for Christmas last year!  I think it’s really special that the people I support have become such a big part of my life outside of work.

What’s been the most impactful or meaningful experience you’ve had? 
I haven’t had one specific moment that I consider the most impactful, but I think the thing that has stood out to me has been the level of respect that exists between myself and the people that I have supported. I work so hard to bring value to their life as much as possible, but they are also very quick to return the favour when an opportunity presents itself. Recently I wasn’t feeling well while I was supporting and had a bad headache. One of the guys offered to make me a tea, and the other guy said, “Let’s just watch a movie together so you can relax.” The whole time we watched the movie he asked me multiple times how I was feeling and said he felt bad I wasn’t feeling well.  Another time I was supporting and my fiancé called me, which was unusual when she knew that I was at work. I excused myself and took the call. I found out that she had been in a car accident, she was physically ok, but quite upset. When I returned after the call, the girl I was supporting could see that I was quite concerned and asked what was wrong. She hadn’t been having a great day herself, but after I told her what happened she got up and gave me a hug and asked if I was ok. For the rest of the day she kept asking how I was doing and saying she was really worried about my fiancé and hoped that she was ok. I’ve always considered my job to be the caregiver, but when I was the one in need they took care of me.

What do you wish others knew about supporting at COR?
There’s a place for everyone, which is the beautiful thing about COR. I have met so many amazing people from different backgrounds, with a wide variety of interests and skills. Everyone brings something different to the table which gives you endless possibilities for creativity and growth. I feel completely comfortable just being myself, because whatever you are into is encouraged and celebrated.

 

This is Kaela Gilchrist. This is her WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Kaela Gilchrist. Kaela is a Support and has worked at COR for 9 months. This is her WHY!


What brought you to COR?

I previously worked as a youth care worker and before that I was self employed as a photographer for 23 years while raising my children. I have always admired COR’s Gentle Teaching Philosophy and decided to apply hoping to obtain more flexible hours and a schedule that works for my family. I have always had a special place in my heart for supporting, interacting with and caring for younger adults and individuals with intellectual disabilities who have experienced trauma in their lives. These beautiful individuals need to know they are safe and loved and that they matter. They deserve to have a positive life and to be treated with respect. They also deserve to learn and grow; our job is to love, teach and support them in this journey of life.

Why do you stay?

Because I love my job and I feel I’m making a difference in the individuals lives and well being. COR is also very flexible and accommodating when it comes to time off or the ability to trade with other supports without having to take holidays. This freedom and flexibility is so wonderful and it allows me the time off to spend time with my family.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Teaching life skills to the individuals we support as well as spending time with them and being a friend or companion. Along with that, the memories we make everyday at COR are memories I’ll have with me for the rest of my life. It’s also great doing something different every day whether it be visiting my pets, making something great for lunch and going for a picnic, among many other things.

What’s been the most impactful or meaningful experience you’ve had?

It’s so impactful and meaningful when the individuals randomly thank you or give you a hug for helping them. Also, hearing the words, ”I LOVE YOU” when you least expect it melts my heart. That’s when you know you have built a special relationship and what you’re doing is so important and impactful.

What do you wish others new about supporting at COR?

Building a positive relationship with each and every person is key to working at COR. It’s also important to treat the individuals with compassion, love, respect and understanding. When these elements are present, you really see people grow. Lastly, COR is such a positive work place that people working here thrive because of it and in turn, the individuals we support do as well.

This is Will Collins. This is his WHY!

Creative Options Regina has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Will Collins. Will is a Home Team Leader and has worked at COR for over 4 years. This is his WHY!


What brought you to COR?

I had a few friends who were supporting with COR and had heard great things from them. I heard that it was a fun place to work at and it was all about building meaningful relationships. I was in the middle of applying for the RCMP when I put in my application at COR and I had planned to support short term until my application process  was complete; I enjoyed supporting so much that I stayed. Before coming to COR I didn’t know how flexible of a job it was, but that’s something I really enjoy about it as well. Looking back, I’m glad I submitted an application because I couldn’t be happier!

 

Why do you stay?

The people! Both the people I work with and the people I get to support. You don’t get this kind of interaction at any other workplace. This community that is COR has such great and supportive people — it gives you all the reason to stick around.

 

What’s the best thing about your job?

During my time with COR I have built some of the most meaningful relationships I have to date. Those relationships are easily the best thing about my job and they will be relationships I carry with me for the rest of my life.

 

What’s been the most impactful or meaningful experience you’ve had?

It’s definitely hard to pick one experience. It’s the little things that add up that are so rewarding. It’s great to see the individuals we support accomplish these smaller goals and celebrate them. So, I’d say just being a part of someone’s growth in whatever capacity that may be, is extremely meaningful.

 

What do you wish others knew about supporting at COR?

It’s so much more than just a job; it’s a community of incredible people who always want what is best for you. Everyone at COR has your back and they want to support you in whatever you do, or whatever you’re going through. People generally care about your well-being here and that’s what makes COR such a special place.

 

 

This is Jordan Wyonzek. This is his WHY!

What’s Your Why?

COR has over 220 employees, all with different stories. This blog series will highlight some of the amazing people that work at COR and what fuels their passion and purpose.

This is Jordan Wyonzek. Jordan is a Key Support Worker and has been at COR for 6 years. This is his WHY!

 

What brought you to COR?

I had first heard about COR a little over 6 years ago when I was just getting into university and looking to move into a new job. Some friends of mine had been supporting for a while and suggested I look into the organization. I have never looked back since!

Why do you stay?

Mainly, the people are what keep me here – the young adults I support have become some of my closest friends. My current team members and co-workers from past roles I have held are some of the strongest supports in my life. Also, throughout my time with COR I have had the opportunity to hold various positions and been guided to find the path that suits me. COR cares about us, they want to ensure we are happy in what we do and put us in the best possible position to succeed.

What’s the best thing about your job?

There are so many aspects about my job that I love. The supportive COR family, the amount we are invested in by way of trainings and support, appreciation events, the excitement of each new day and what might be in store. But above all, the ability to look and see how much those we support have grown both as people and friends is what really makes this place special.

What’s been the most impactful or meaningful experience you’ve had?

This one is so tough to answer, but there is a time last summer I can think of standing a bit above the rest. One of the young guys I support loves collecting Hot Wheels cars, like he lives for the thrill of getting a single new car. Once per week he had been going to the studio to do some work experience, earning some cash every Thursday to practice saving up for a big purchase. The end goal was a Hot Wheels 50 pack, something he had been dreaming of for ages – if 1 car is so awesome, how incredible would 50 at once be?! When that last payday came we went off to Toys R Us, his money in hand. I can’t put words to describe his excitement, his pride in working hard to save that money himself, him going to the store and paying for it with that earned pay cheque! Needless to say once we got back to the studio he was in heaven, opening car after car after new car. I feel lucky to have been there that day to see this all happen!

What do you wish others knew about supporting at COR?

That COR does not run “care homes” or “group homes”. We simply support people in their home. Places where the people we support are comfortable to be themselves. When we’re here we are learning, joking, building relationships together. Not a day goes by where it feels like work. Also, there are so many awesome activities year round to get involved in and check out!