Position: Student Support Assistant (SSA) at Learning Without Limits
What led you to your current position? I would say Seneca found me. I was really interested in entering the mental health sphere, and specifically, I wanted to work with kids and learn more about how a non-profit organization functions. Seneca's unconditional care model really struck me and I was sold from there.
Fun Fact/Quote? PLAY! I love getting to incorporate movement, games, and laughter into all the work I do. Helping a kid who struggles transitioning out of recess could look like races to line, bear crawls down the hall or being a secret agent who has to sneak into class "without anyone seeing them." Being creative is 90% of the job and I love turning games into learning opportunities. Joy is one of Seneca's core values that I really align with and work hard to keep at the forefront of all my work.
What does your average day look like? I tend to work with students who need all day supports, helping them both in the classroom and in social settings, like lunch and recess. My work has a high emphasis on social-emotional learning and growth in order for students to access education. This encompasses teaching social skills, self-regulatory skills, as well as providing academic scaffolding and support to help students feel successful academically and have students feel good in their bodies throughout the day.
Why do you do this work? I've worked with kids heavily in past jobs in summer camps and after school programs but it wasn't until working at Seneca that I felt like I had the tools to support ALL kids. Seneca's really works to meet students wherever they're at and create individualized goals and plans to ensure that the child is able to grow not just academically but really give them tools to help them navigate themselves and the world around them with more ease and joy. There are so many incredible trainings offered at Seneca that have really helped me become a better service provider and build up my skills and capacity to support kids with extensive trauma histories and/or differently abled students. Seneca also does a great job of providing career advancement opportunities. Anytime I've been interested in a different position, role or program, I've been able to talk to my supervisor and feel supported in any and all career exploration.