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Alumni Profiles

Christine Keeler

Christine Keeler

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Year of Graduation: 2005
Program: Social Service Worker - Gerontology

Making a Difference in Seniors’ Lives

In 2003, Christine Keeler was working in the restaurant industry booking international group sales to Toronto. After the SARS health crisis, tourism dried up and she was laid off. Due to the nature of her job loss, Christine was able to secure government funding for a portion of her retraining.

With a strong belief in community work and a personal experience with home care in particular, Christine was drawn to Sheridan’s Social Service Worker program.

“About 10 years ago, my father was palliative and with the support of community agencies, he was able to stay at home until he passed away,” says Christine. “Until that time, I never really understood the services available in the community. I just knew that when I called the nursing office, help came. I wanted to make that kind of difference in someone else's life.”

After completing her studies, Christine took a full-time position at VON Canada, planning and scheduling nursing visits, and she quickly moved into a supervisory role. She then joined Acclaim Health in Oakville, a former branch of VON. Now a Supervisor of Home Help at Links2Care in Mississauga, Christine leads a team of workers who help residents in their own homes with cleaning, shopping or bathing, based on their needs. Christine also continues to work for Acclaim Health on a casual basis.

“I love working directly with the clients. Meeting them and hearing their stories is a privilege. It is nice to know that, even in a small way, I am able to help them stay in their homes,” she says.

While at Sheridan, Christine faced the challenges of being a mature student, including entering a classroom after many years in the work world. However, Sheridan’s social service programs attract students from a wide variety of age groups and backgrounds. “There were a fair number of mature students in my class. Our priorities were more focused,” she says. “It was quite a change doing homework alongside my children, though!” adds Christine, who lives in Mississauga with her husband and two sons.

She credits Sheridan with teaching her to appreciate the differences in people and the issues they face. “Our class’ group work strongly encouraged us to that. Every person has a story and is equally worthy of consideration. I was able to reflect on my own behaviors and attitude and how they affect others.”