By: Scott Douglas Jacobsen (GNH Community Journalist/Blogger)
Tell us about your brief background – family, education, and work.
I am originally from Poland. I moved to Canada when I was 8 years old with my parents and younger brother. We were very fortunate to have a smooth immigration experience and have been living in Vancouver since 1989. I went to UBC and got my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and then a Diploma in Guidance Studies (through the Faculty of Education). I have been working for Gordon Neighbourhood House for a total of 15 years and currently I am the Program Director.
How did you find out about Gordon Neighbourhood House?
During my first year in University, I started volunteering at my local neighbourhood House (South Van NH) and there I came across a job posting for a child care worker at GNH.
What interested you about us?
As a psychology student, I was very excited to gain experience working with children in a community setting.
Now, you’re the Program Director for Gordon Neighbourhood House. What tasks and responsibilities come with this position?
As the Program Director, I oversee the majority of programs that are not food initiatives (we have a Director of Community Food Initiatives). This includes program coordination, program evaluation, and overseeing a number of community program staff that run and supervise a wide variety of programs.
How did you come upon, and earn, this position?
I took part-time classes throughout university so that I could work part-time and gain experience. I started working in different positions with children and youth (e.g. Out of School Care, Summer and Spring Break Day Camps, etc.) at Gordon Neighbourhood House in 2001 and 3 months after I graduated from the Diploma program in 2005, I was offered the position of Child, Family, and Youth Program Coordinator. Since then, my position and title have changed a couple of times and I now work with GNH as the Program Director.
Where do you hope Gordon Neighbourhood House moves forward into the future?
My hope for GNH is that it continues to grow and expand the wonderful work that it already offers. I am extremely proud and honoured to be part of an organization and staff team that truly makes a difference in the lives of our neighbours. GNH is very dear to my heart. I have witnessed hundreds of examples over the last 15 years of how essential GNH is to making the West End a vibrant, healthy, and active community.