Community Support Worker
In order to hit a target, one must have an aim: such an aim is determined by one’s values. To me, working as a
Community Support Worker is more of a vocation than a job: I feel called to support individuals to access opportunities and make the best of their lives. In order to do this, my practice is driven by core person-centered values. When I work with individuals, I seek to encourage them to develop self-determination, responsibility, and resourcefulness.
Self-determination is a process in which one actively embraces his own aspirations. One begins to concretely and voluntarily manifest the vision he has for his future. With individuals, I seek to collaboratively work towards their goals. Through persuasive dialogue, I encourage them to voluntarily accept their work, as if they themselves had chosen it. The work they pursue leads to successes that, in turn, reinforce their self-determination.
Responsibility is an orientation towards life: One asks what she can give to life, instead of what life can give to her. Even though responsibility requires carrying a heavy burden, it is actually empowering: It reaches one in the place where they can make a difference. When I work with individuals, I try to help them see the fruit of their actions. I help them realize how by taking responsibility they are able to achieve goals that make a difference in their lives and in others.
Resourcefulness is a value and a skill that enables one to pursue challenging goals with support. Often what deters one from pursuing goals is the seemingly impassable chasm between incompetence and competence. Support encourages and scaffolds the learner so that they can achieve competence. I seek to embolden individuals to reach out for support, so that as they confront challenges, they are optimally equipped to face them.
I find joy and purpose in encouraging these person-centered values in community settings, but never at the cost of the individual’s autonomy. I don’t work on people; I work with them. Through respectful, considerate engagement, I hope to be a positive benefactor in the lives of the community of individuals I serve.