Here at Fernie youth, we are an organization guided by faith. From our mission to our methods to our motivations that faith is reflected in our core values. Recently we took an opportunity to sit with one of our dedicated frontline workers, Alexis and discuss how her faith has helped her to better serve the clients here at Fernie.
How would your friends describe who you are?
My friends would probably describe me as bubbly, positive, energetic, and friendly.
What are the three things you’re most passionate about?
Well family and my faith in God, are very important to me. So is maintaining my physical health.
How have those passions affected your growth as a person?
My faith in God has given me understanding of who I am and what I am called to be. Maintaining my physical health has allowed for me to have a clear mind and helps me to release any built up frustration. My family support has held me accountable and served as a motivation to keep pushing to achieve my goals.
How did you come to join Fernie Youth?
I joined Fernie Youth as a Student Case Worker.
What is your role here at Fernie?
I am currently a community support worker. I also support the community access program and youth transitional services.
How do youth value the work you do?
There are a number of clients that I’ve worked with who have said “Alexis I remember you telling me to try ___(insert whatever I told them)___ and it worked!”. It is so rewarding to know that our clients trust me enough to take my advice and use it for their benefit.
What three words would you use to describe Fernie’s culture?
Fernie is Inclusive, faith-based, and fair.
Do you think that Your Faith helps you to further engage with your clients?
My faith drives me to go that extra distance for the clients. It’s a motivational and inspirational tool. The judicial system by and large is a faithless mechanism that takes very little time to address the needs of each individual or the environmental circumstances that have led to their incarceration. At times it can be very frustrating to find ways to ensure that clients don’t fall through the cracks. A lot of the youth that we serve, don’t even faith in themselves, never mind having faith in a higher power.
Well faith is very contagious, so my faith in God, helps me to have faith in my clients and the processes here at Fernie. This in-turn motivates our clients to have faith in themselves and the networks of people that support their success here at Fernie.
What are you most proud of as it regards to what Fernie does?
Fernie accepts clients that nobody else accepts. I truly admire the hope and faith that Fernie has in the clientele that we serve.
Why should others choose to support Fernie Youth Services?
Fernie is a program that I would like to call a “special needs” program. We accommodate all needs to better serve our clients/residents as best as we can.
Is there a moment or memory of working here that stands out for you?
When I worked as a student case worker I used to help the young men in Fernie Works work on their goals every Tuesday. Our “work day” would end around 2pm and we would prepare late lunch and participate in a round table discussion. One day, one of the youth I was working with, myself and the case worker stayed back until about 6pm to play card games. The young man stated out of nowhere “I am glad you guys stayed back this late to play card games with me or else I would be in Jane and Finch probably doing something I should not be doing”. In that moment I realized how much I care, how much Fernie cares, and how much I want to be a part of Fernie Youth Services.
What did you study in university?
I did a double major in Forensic Psychology and Criminology and Justice.
What was your favorite subject in high school?
What’s your hidden talent?
Really? What is your favorite/ best dish?
Well last year I made cultural dish with my grandmother called “Pelau”, with rice pigeon peas, chicken parts and pig’s feet, I was really proud of that one, it was sooo good!
What does success mean to you?
Personally, success is achieving the goals that I’ve set out for myself. No matter how big or small that goal may be.
What advice would you give to the teenage version of yourself?
Stay focused! Friends come and go.
Where is your happy place?
Church and the beach
What type of music do you listen to?
Who were some of your favorite artists when you were a teenager?
I was really into B2K and Destiny Child when I was growing up.
Do you have any favorite sports teams? Do you play any sports?
My favorite sports team would be the Raptors but I do not play any sports myself.
Do you take part in any activities, clubs or groups?
I participate in my Set Apart ladies group at church where I would occasionally lead Sunday School lessons. I also recently became a part of the Administration Team as a volunteer to help with office duties, and other projects.