By Annette Dawm, WorkStory Ambassador
Vincent Gauthier works as a Residential Counselor for Sudbury Developmental Services. During the school year, he is also a Child and Youth Worker as well as an Educational Assistant. In his own childhood, Vincent had many struggles which he overcame with the guidance of others, and now he strives to offer the same assistance to those who need it:
“I understand what it means to be challenged by the environment you grow up in and how [difficult] it can be;” says Gauthier. For him, there were certain people who saw past “the darker parts” of who he was, and they helped him to see who he could be. Without their support, Vincent believes that he never would have “made it this far” and he feels as though he was given this opportunity to help others in return: “Because I was granted a second chance, I chose to dedicate my career to those who need others to believe they can succeed and achieve their goals as well.”
Vincent began his post-secondary education at Fanshawe College in London which he thoroughly enjoyed: “I had a fantastic experience in learning from some of the best and most passionate professors....”
“I am currently going into my third year of a Bachelor's in social work (in French) at Laurentian University in Sudbury. This was done because I learned that in the field of Human Services, the more pieces of paper you have from post-secondary institutions, the better it will be to further your career.” Gauthier also feels that a post-secondary education can help lead to a bigger impact that one can have “on a macro scale” in terms of helping those in need.
Whether he is working at Sudbury Developmental Services or within the educational system, Vincent is most excited about the people he works with and that he is able to make a difference in their lives: “I love many aspects of my job. I love the people I support and get to meet. I love the fact that I get to positively impact the lives of those who are often faced with struggle. The best part of my job, however, is knowing that I get to contribute [to] making a difference in my community... and the world.”
Although Vincent Gauthier was driven to work in the field of Human Services, it has not been a simple task. He advises others that it will be a challenge for them as well, should they choose a career path similar to his:
“It's a hard job, don't think for a second that it will be easy—and for that reason—make sure you find a healthy way to deal with the stressors of the job.”
Gauthier also advises that working in this field requires the ability to adapt to change, even if the changes happen at a slower pace: “Don't forget that change does not occur over night, either in behavioral intervention or advocating, or any aspects of the field you decide to go in. Change takes time, and for that be patient. Never give up, because at the end of the day there's a lot more at stake than your own sense of pride. Lastly, never hold a grudge against those you are working with or supporting.” All great advice!