When Yong, now 18 years old, arrived to Canada from Korea with his mother three years ago, he didn’t speak any English and didn’t trust his new acquaintances. His mother, Maya, tried to enrol him in school and get subsidies for him to participate in a community living program, but to no avail. Then, she learned about the Recreation and Leisure program at Semiahmoo House Society and she enthusiastically registered her son to all the activities.
Yong has learned English and has integrated as a Canadian. His trust of people has grown and he has a good circle of friends. In fact, he has learned the names of all the participants and keeps the attendance book up to date. “He’s a big help to the staff”, says Braden Deans, Leisure Support Worker. “He knows where things are and where to go and he’s not afraid of telling us what’s next”, smiles Braden.
Candice Gray, Program Manager expresses: “He’s very bright and smart with an eagerness to learn and is very proud of himself when he surpasses his goals. That and his great sense of humour make him such a pleasure to be around.”
Yong, whose fear and mistrust would occasionally cause him to engage in angry behaviours, has changed for the better on many levels. His mother is very grateful for the progress he has made since joining the Recreation and Leisure program which she identifies as school. “I call Candice all the time to express my appreciation about the great work she and her team are doing and the positive impact they have had on my family”, exclaims Maya.
Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community.
The Semiahmoo Foundation, located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.