From Reaching Youth to Being Back with Her Seniors – Q & A with Helena
She left her job to become a Road Team Intern and reach youth across the country. Now, with the semester being cut short as a result of the coronavirus, Helena finds herself back alongside some of our countries most vulnerable.
We’ve never met someone who loved working with seniors as much as Helena does. She’ll often dive into conversation about her residents and share stories with whoever will listen, but she went through some difficult times growing up and felt compelled to make a difference in the lives of youth across the country.
It wasn’t easy, but in the end, Helena decided to give up her apartment and leave the safety of her full-time job to join us as a tour intern.
In January, she travelled to Hamilton, crafted her story, and worked hard to memorize all of her lines. She overcame butterflies when speaking to large crowds and had started to get into the groove of tour life, but then things got cut short. Now, with schools being closed and everyone practicing social distancing, Helena finds herself home in British Columbia, couch surfing while casually employed back at the Baptist Housing Seniors Living residence.
Although things haven’t gone according to plan, Helena remains positive as she helps “her seniors” make connections through this time of isolation.
We asked her where she’s been finding inspiration, if she’s had any big realizations lately, and if she could offer someone encouragement right now, what would it be. Here what she said…
In these difficult times, who are you finding inspiration from?
During these times, I’m inspired by my residents. They still find ways to connect and enjoy life. I get to walk in and see them playing crib together, and we have 6 foot-apart dance parties. I guess life is about the simple joys we choose to look for.
What is a realization that you’ve had recently that you think others could benefit from knowing?
When the coronavirus first started becoming a big issue, I was really disappointed and worried because it felt like my life was falling apart. I took time to be disappointed but then I realized that I actually have time to focus on other important things. I always had a “things I want to do when I have more time” list in the back of my mind. Now I actually have time to study a new language, to read, to learn how to cook and to journal. It all comes down to perspective.
Being there for each other through tough times is so important. What do you have to say to someone else who might be needing a little encouragement?
Your feelings are valid! For the first time in our lives, we have no idea what the future will look like. Everything is very uncertain. I would just tell you to take some time and think about what you can control. How you use your time. Is your worrying productive or is it making you feel worse? What makes you happy? What can you do right now that would help you enjoy your day?
Anyone who’s had the chance to hear Helena speak will know that this idea of creating space for more of what makes you happy is a big part of her story. So what can you do that will help you enjoy today more? And what can you do today that will help someone else be happy?