My name is Kahmeaqia Pardo and I am a second year student at Algonquin College in the Recreation and Leisure Services Program. This month of December 2016 I have completed my 2 week (70 hour) placement at Dovercourt with the WAVE program and I can say without a doubt that it has been the most unforgettable 2 weeks that I have had all year. The apprentices are wonderful people and the staff welcomed me with open arms. I have never felt more welcomed into such a large group of people so fast in my entire life.
I started my journey with WAVE with another assignment in my Community Development course and with only the first visit I knew WAVE was a place I would consider doing my placement with. I soon bonded with the apprentices and learned of the many different abilities and skills of people with autism. I was also given the opportunity to implement small group activities and take on tasks such as creating budget plans and program schedules. These are all skills and tasks that are talked about and practiced in my Recreation and Leisure classes but I would like to thank the WAVE group for allowing me real life opportunities to expand my knowledge and skills.
Completing my co-op with WAVE has helped improve my knowledge of Autism and has also has given me the clear understanding that this is in fact the career path I would like to go into after my studies. I was never sure what field I was most interested in but the satisfaction I got from going home after a day at WAVE and knowing that I have helped make a change in a person’s life was the best feeling. It was this feeling at the end of every day that has helped point me in the direction of my future. I would like to thank the WAVE staff and apprentices for the best coop placement I could have asked for and for giving me the experience I would need to further myself in this field.
I will always remember your support and the definition an apprentice gave for what Autism means to him; and I have to say I agree.