Alumni uses her skills, experiences to help others
A College of the North Atlantic (CNA) grad is making the workforce a more inclusive place, one job seeker at a time.
Linda Brown, a graduate of the CNA’s Business Administration (Human Resources Management) program, is an Employment Facilitator for the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW).
“We are a national non-profit organization that supports both employers and jobseekers in enhancing inclusion and diversity in the workforce for persons with disabilities,” she explained.
Brown says she is happy in her role and especially likes working with clients.
“I love the creative aspect. I am a tech nerd and enjoy creating curriculum and organizing information. I also love serving clients. I am a disabled 2SLGBTQIA+ individual, so I really feel like I’m bringing resources back into my community and serving my community in a way that helps to bridge barriers and overcome adversity.”
As an Employment Facilitator, Brown notes no two workdays are the same.
“I enjoy how it’s so different each day and I’m always challenged to come up with creative out-of-the-box solutions. I also have lots of opportunities for professional development. The opportunities at CCRW are truly never-ending and leadership is committed to enriching your professional qualifications. I get to go to these amazing conferences, network with service providers all across the country, and get involved with my community.”
Originally from St. John’s, NL, Brown currently resides in Kilbride, and says her work with young people makes is all worthwhile.
“I specifically work hands-on with youth with disabilities who face layers of barriers. Seeing the real and immediate impact I am able to make in the lives of youth is extremely rewarding. We build community and do our very best to equip them with resources and experiences to really enhance their employability, confidence, and networks.”
While at CNA, she was a full-time online student who says learning this way was a huge part of her success.
“I found online learning so accessible to me as an autistic person with ADHD,” she said. “The barriers I had faced in traditional school models were removed and I actually accomplished the President’s Medal of Excellence for highest academic achievement in my program. That was a huge deal for me, as I dropped out of high school and was a mature student returning after a decade hiatus from education. Now, I am obsessed with learning, and I facilitate learning every day.”
She says she may return to CNA one of these days.
“I’m a lifelong student, and I know one day I’ll return to CNA to upgrade or take on other trainings. There are lots of opportunities out there – you have to get creative in how you market yourself.”
The busy mother of three says there are lots of options for people who are looking to pursue careers in the not-for-profit sector.
“Non-profits need passionate and dedicated staff who are outside-the-box thinkers and willing to get creative and hands on in their work,” she said. “Many folks want to work in noble causes, but they may be deterred by university. However, doing a Business Administration or management diploma can also serve to get you into similar roles in different capacities. It’s not a pathway that is publicized or known, but I also tell folks to do business of any sort and look for roles in non-profit.”
For more information about CNA, visit www.cna.nl.ca.