After being associated for four years with the AIDS Committee of York Region, Monica carries many touching and inspiring stories regarding client interaction; she is the Manager of Support Services at ACYR. She begins to share her experience by saying, “ACYR may be a small agency, but it is very impactful.” Adding to what her role consists of she says, “I am the person of contact for any client that comes into our office for the support services that we provide. I am responsible for intake assessments and case management”.
She explains how, through the organization, she has established more connections throughout York Region— the area she grew up in. “Before starting with ACYR, I never knew that such small and wonderful agencies were right here in my own backyard”. Monica goes on to describe her thoughts about the future very realistically, and hopes that people in the community, including family doctors and other service providers, become more aware and mindful about HIV/AIDS and to connect with ACYR for the care that it provides. She adds that in a perfect world the process of getting tested or disclosing would be as painless as possible and that is why education about HIV/AIDS and its surrounding sensitivity is so very important!
Sitting next to Monica, and offering a similar compassion, is Megan, the Wellness & Life Skills Development Coordinator for the AIDS Committee of York Region. Megan joined ACYR in September of 2016 and says her role is to work with those who access services at ACYR and support them in developing their own individual wellness goals, while also connecting them with other supports and resources in the community. “Working directly with the folks who access services is always the best learning opportunity for me. Being able to walk with people during a part of their journey is what informs my work.”
When asked what growth she foresees for the agency her composed and calm response is, “the people who access services at ACYR are diverse and are a skilled group who have a lot to offer. I look forward to the creation of pathways that will allow people to share their strengths, talents, and experiences with the agency and community in a way that is meaningful to them. ”
By Zahra Rajwani
Zahra was a student placement with the AIDS Committee of York Region up until mid-April of this year, she came to us via the Seneca College Social Service Work program. She also participated as a committee member of the Youth Sexual Health Action Committee