My name is Mayon Marcelino, I’m a 31 year-old Filipino-Canadian male and I’m proud to be in the Community Support Work program at Stenberg College.
Exactly one year ago, I had no idea what or where Stenberg College was. I had no clue what a community support worker was either. But through a series of events I learned about both and I am very thankful for how things turned out.
In April of 2014, I was kindly invited to someone’s house for dinner. I was at a cafe, and struck up a conversation with one of the staff members. Both of us are Filipino so I suppose that’s probably why we felt comfortable speaking to one another. Once she realized that I was a newcomer to Vancouver and that I did not have any family here she invited me to her place for dinner. I immediately said yes. She said her mother would be there, her kids and her grandkids as well. I felt very fortunate to be the beneficiary of such kindness.
At the party I shared a conversation with one of the family friends. I told him I had been in school, studying to be a minister in the church. He told me that he considered his work to be his ministry. That statement piqued my interest, so I listened closely. He said that he works with adults with autism, and he described the challenges, and the rewards of his profession. The more he shared, the more I began to agree that his work is a form of ministry.
For the longest time, I’ve wanted to practice my faith and live out my faith throughout the week, and not just during worship on Sunday morning. I left that conversation and the dinner party a different person. I realized that what that he was doing was a form of ministry, and as someone who would like to be a leader in the church, I knew that what I preach on Sunday mornings has to be lived out throughout the week, not just on Sunday mornings.
I did my research on schools and different programs that helped individuals in the community and I decided that the Community Support Worker program at Stenberg College was the place for me. I contacted the school by email and later received a phone call where I received a very heartwarming message of support and affirmation from a caring Stenberg staff member after I explained why I was interested in the program. Afterwards I met with an academic advisor at the school and attended a Stenberg Info Session where my expectations of the course, and the work in the community were answered and reassured.
I’m very excited to complete my education at Stenberg while attending the IPE and CPE sites where I can put my theoretical and practical knowledge to use. Caring for individuals and advocating for their needs is something that I am happy I will be able to do as my career.
I’m thankful to Stenberg College, the supportive staff, my knowledgeable and caring teachers and my enthusiastic and fun classmates who I am sharing this incredible journey with. I pray that we will all be successful in this field and I look forward to what the future brings.