Human Services, News

Meet our Therapeutic Recreation Blogger: Bernard

I’ve always been drawn to the journey. As an over-the-road truckTherapeutic Recreation student, Bernard with his familyer in the US, I drove in 28 of 50 US states. As a bike messenger in New York City, I rode every shortcut, alley and avenue Manhattan had to offer. But it was a job driving for Gator City Cabs in Jacksonville, Florida, where happenstance first turned my eye to what would ultimately bring me to the Lower Mainland and the Therapeutic Recreation Diploma program here at Stenberg College.

Grab yourself a ruler and a map of North America. Start at Vancouver and slice the US diagonally in half. You’ll find Jacksonville and Vancouver have about as much in common in latitude and longitude between them as any two burgs north of the equator. This goes for more than just geography. Vancouver has more orcas and Jacksonville has more sun. BC has good skiing, and North Florida has manatees. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: Vancouver cabbies are awesome. Sure, there are exceptions but for the most part, if you catch a cab ‘round here, it will be clean and comfortable, and the driver will be safe and friendly.

Jacksonville?

Well, Jacksonville has some great cabbies too. And some cabbies who… who could be a little more welcoming, we’ll say. Drivers get reputations and are dispatched accordingly: tougher drivers get the more lucrative late-night bar shifts but if you are known for a clean cab and a generous ear, you get an awful lot of steady daytime business to and from hospitals, assisted living communities, and domestic violence shelters.

And so, it was a random job I chose just to keep my wheels moving that taught me something I wasn’t expecting: I love listening to people who aren’t always listened to. I loved helping older folks from the car to the door, holding their delicate hands while they finish-up whatever story had them laughing, crying or both, during the trip.

I loved getting to know my regulars’ families. And while it was always a sad thing, sometimes the bonds I’d built with my regulars were such that their loved ones would find me if the regular had passed, or if they were about to pass. Somehow, at this important, and difficult phase of the human journey, I’d been lucky enough to make a bit of a difference in the life of a human soul.

Choosing Therapeutic Recreation

On that subject, I cannot tell you what a difference Stenberg College has made in funnelling this burgeoning need to work with my heart into a plan both wonderful and workable. My awesome advisor (Hiya, Jandy!) sat and talked with me for hours, getting a sense of what I liked and what I was like. We discussed many options including Stenberg’s Health Care Assistant program, Mental Health and Addictions Worker program, Psychiatric Nursing program and so on, and she helped me really focus down on what would fit me the best, Therapeutic Recreation (Gerontology).

I’m three courses in and am absolutely loving it. I couldn’t ask for better instructors or a more cohesive cohort, and I can’t wait to share the rest of my journey with you.


If you’re interested in learning more about this program, we encourage you to speak to a program advisor today! Fill out the form to be contacted, or contact them directly at (604) 580 2772 or [email protected] for more information.

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