My journey to child life has not always been linear, and continues to evolve on a diverse path. With my background as a high school science teacher, I have had the privilege to frame learning in such a way that helps students achieve mastery, independence, and explore the world around them. Even further, my diverse experiences within the Montessori Method of schooling has shaped my understanding of play as the language of children. As I was completing my teacher education programs, I became interested in learning how to foster resiliency and teaching tools for children with exceptionalities facing medical adversity. To achieve these psychosocial goals, I was introduced to the importance of the allied health team of which included a Child Life Specialist. That was how my continuous path of lifelong learning began to transform and converge with child life.
Through the Diversity Scholarship, the Association of Child Life Professionals has given me the all-embracing confidence and ability to continue and move my professional learning journey from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in order to complete my internship at the second largest children’s hospital in Canada: Stollery Children’s Hospital. That’s about 2200 miles!
This generous contribution has afforded me the ability to learn about the psychosocial and health needs of children and adolescents living in Western Canada. Notably, during the course of my internship, I have met patients travelling from the neighboring provinces/territories of Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. By interacting with these patients, I am given the unique opportunity to be educated on the broad range of cultural traditions and Aboriginal perspectives in Canada. Moreover, I am learning and reflecting on these patients’ responses to hospitalization in conjunction with considerations like lengthy and difficult travel to the hospital. The support of this scholarship allows me to continuously work towards having a deeply rooted understanding of these viewpoints to strengthen my assessments and practice as a future Canadian Child Life Specialist.
Equally important, my time has been greatly impacted by the scholarship. I am wholeheartedly able to dedicate my time to developing and strengthening my theoretical knowledge from the most withstanding and important texts of child life, in addition to dedicating my time to researching and creating accurate child life procedural handouts that will allow me to create medical play boxes and dolls for different procedures such as the PICC line, NG tube, and I.V. starts for my internship project.
I express my deepest gratitude to the Association of Child Life Professionals for establishing the Diversity Scholarship. I am truly honored to have been selected as a recipient for Summer 2017. This generosity continues to inspire me to meaningfully and harmoniously complement my diverse knowledge in high school science education and Montessori education, with the knowledge I continue to accumulate within the child life profession! Thank you!