Placement Reflections: Maya, Wesley, Maddi, Luke

As we move into the final weeks of the program, the students have spent some time reflecting on their placement experiences. Each student has a placement with a different organization in Hamilton that they’ve been attending every week. At their placements, the students are learning about the different needs that are present in the city, as well as how to put everything they’ve learned so far into practice.

Here of some of their reflections in their own words!


What are some of your basic duties at your organization?

“A Rocha is an organization that focuses on environmental education. I’m mainly working on creating flashcards for kids about different plants and animals. Right now I’m working on 47 different flowering plants, but we have over 200 species!

“Usually, I’ll find the scientific or Latin name, the common name, and a picture of a certain plant or animal, and then I’ll research and try to find facts about it. Then I just put it all together on a card and make it look pretty; make sure they all look the same.”

What are you enjoying about your placement?

“I already knew I liked plants and animals, but being at A Rocha has affirmed it!

“I enjoy having the freedom to learn about a wide range of things. I can pick what I want to specifically learn about a plant or animal, which is fun. It’s also fun when I’ll learn something really random that I wasn’t expecting. For example, I’ve been learning that a ton of plants can be used for medicinal purposes.

“Being at A Rocha has been showing me that I have a passion for the outdoors and being a good steward of the land, and I think that’s neat because I didn’t really know that about myself before. I think I want to do something with conservation in my life. I don’t know what it’ll look like yet, but it’s nice to learn that.”

What is a challenge you have faced and how have you grown from it?

“I love the work I’m doing, but I think sometimes sitting at a screen is a little tiring. Sometimes I get antsy and it’s hard to focus. I just want to use my hands or run around! But I think I’m learning how to push through doing things for longer times, even though sometimes it’s hard, instead of just giving up. Perseverance!”


What are some of your basic duties at your organization?

“L’Arche is a worldwide organization that creates communities in populated places for adults with intellectual disabilities. The Inclusion Coffeehouse is run by L’Arche and employs adults with intellectual disabilities.

“Most of the time I’m just making coffee, doing dishes, wiping counters, and supporting the core members in doing the tasks that they enjoy. On top of that, I spend a lot of time talking, getting to know people, and just having fun and making friends. On Thursdays, I also work at one of the houses, where one day I spent the whole time doing Elvis impressions with one of the core members and playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a Sega Genesis. It was awesome.”

What are you learning about yourself at your placement?

“I think with this placement specifically, I feel this unconditional love, where I don’t have to earn anyone’s affection. They all just like me and are glad that I’m there. It’s easy to feel like you belong.

“I think it’s also reinforcing the idea that I just really like people; just getting to know people and making jokes. It’s pure, and you feel good walking away. It’s reinforcing things that I already knew, but it’s a new angle, because I haven’t interacted much with people with intellectual disabilities. So, there was a learning curve in re-learning how to love people and meet people’s needs. But sometimes it’s simpler than you think.

“I’m very personable, but being at L’Arche is really freeing because I’m being personable for the sake of it, not to win love. I can just be friendly and people will like me, and it’s enough.”

How do you think your placement is teaching you to serve God better?

“I think this is the kind of thing that gives you experience and preparedness that you’ll take into the rest of your life, especially considering the kind of ministry that I want to go into. It’s a lifelong lesson learned.

“Between being able to feel that unconditional love and also seeing the love that the L’Arche staff has for the core members, it reinforces the idea that God so loved the world and no one is an exception. There’s this whole other side of the story here, of adults who have been forgotten about. It gives me a new awareness. That basic verse of John 3:16 suddenly becomes much more meaningful when you realize it applies to everybody because now you’ve seen another part of the picture that makes it more real.”


What are some of your basic duties at your organization?

“The Boys and Girls Club is an after-school program for kids. We help them learn about things like health and wellness, and we just play with them and help them out.

“I do some set-up work. On Mondays, I prepare snacks for the week for each school, and then I head over to the other building and take care of the kids. We do a lot of stations with them, like crafts and colouring, and we play a lot of games in the gym. The kids love Octopus!”

What are you enjoying about your placement?

“I love kids! It’s really fun how some of the kids and I have connected right away. Being able to go outside and play games with them is just a lot of fun.

“It’s also nice to just work closely with the kids and figure out how they can learn better; just helping them out in that way. I think that God has given me the skills to be able to work with kids well!”

What are you learning about yourself at your placement?

“I’m learning a lot about how to take care of kids well and the right way to discipline them. Sometimes it’s hard when the kids don’t listen, but I’m learning how to be more patient with them. I’m trusting God to give me the strength I need to be able to persevere through my days. And I’m learning a lot about patience!”


What are some of your basic duties at your organization?

“Indwell is an organization that provides affordable housing in low-income areas. I usually help with cleaning, mostly. I learn a lot from the different workers, picking up garbage, unclogging sinks, and other things. We do a lot of cleaning of people’s units and getting them ready for turnovers, for new tenants to move in.”

What are you enjoying about your placement?

“I’ve been enjoying doing things with other people. I think it’s better to work together rather than by yourself. I also enjoy interacting with the different people that I bump into. The things they say sometimes surprise me and make me laugh; it’s just fun. I really enjoy interacting with the tenants and my coworkers.

How do you think your placement is teaching you to serve God better?

“I think it’s helping me experience a real-world setting. I’m learning what a job looks like and what actually happens at work.

“It’s also teaching me to be more present. Sometimes this kind of work is hard and you can come across different challenges when you’re trying to connect with people. But I’m learning to serve God through just being present.”

City placements have been a wonderful opportunity for our students to practice paying attention to the world around them. It’s a chance for them to move beyond our community here at Blake St. and look out into the rest of God’s Kingdom.

Stay tuned for more placement reflections coming soon!

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