My time at PTS (a student placement story)

I joined PTS in June, as a co-op student after finishing classes at Everest College in the Addictions and Community Service Worker Program. I am training to be an Addictions Counsellor and I have a personal vested interest in this field of study. I want to give back to and make a change in the Queer Community of Ottawa by helping others take back control of their lives. I had left Ottawa to better my life, and I did. Though I wasn’t born in Ottawa, the city is my home and I want to make it a better place for the next generation of GLBTTQ people. So I came back here to do my education. I feel that this is the best way to say to all those people (that said I would never change, that I could never change) “Fuck you!” “I can, I have and not only will I continue to change, I will BE the change, I want to see in the world.” “I can, I will and I have made a difference, and I will continue to for as long as I am able”

I came to PTS knowing very little about the services they offered as I have been out in Ottawa for going on fifteen years, though I have known of PTS for quite some time. I was nervous at first, not knowing what really to expect. If someone had told me five years ago, that I would be working in an office, I would have told them they were crazy, but here I am. It has taken some getting used to and I am still working out the kinks and adjusting, but the team here are great people and with their help, I am fitting in pretty good.

One of the duties I was assigned is to develop a peer lead addictions group program that will be run for and by members of the Queer Community in Ottawa. I was very pleased when I was asked to do this. Wanting to give back to the community, I feel this is the best way I can leave a lasting impression. I hope that long after I leave Ottawa to help queer folks in other parts of the country, my work will live on.

One of the other duties I have is to be here for peer support for youth on Wednesday nights. It amazes me to see such a wonderful group of diverse young people coming together to support each other. When I was that age I thought I was the only gay person in the world. It’s a nice feeling when you know that younger people have more resources at hand and that there is more positive support for them then I did at that age and it’s also a nice feeling to know that I will have a hand in that, again leaving a lasting impression through the work I am doing here at PTS. So if you are a youth and need someone to talk to, I am here.  See you around.

Mario

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