Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Degree: Early Childhood Education (ECE)
Year of graduation: 2000
Deborah is a Certified Information and Referral Specialist (CIRS) for the Child Development Resource Connection Peel. She assists people in locating information that will best meet their needs, including child care, resources for those with special needs and education and training.
You’re using your education in an interesting way. What led you to this position?
What drove me to become an ECE was the desire to be a better mother to my daughter Rebecca (now eighteen) who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of three. While at Sheridan, I learned of a new information service known as Coordinated Information Peel that was helping those in the community navigate the social services system in Peel, like I had been doing a few years before. Once I saw the Information and Referral Specialists in action, I was hooked. I realized that I would be able to utilize both my education and life experience to help others. I started out as a relief staff, became a full time employee, then Information Coordinator.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
My work allows me to participate in many different projects in various areas. I am currently working on projects involving online informational databases and websites. I have been able to add to my educational by achieving certifications in these related fields. While these experiences may vary, there share a common goal: assisting people in the community.
What is your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge has always been balancing work and home demands. Working full time and raising a child who has special needs has helped emphasize to me the importance of reliable child care and assistance for those with needs. I know from personal experience that the work that I am doing has great value.
What was the most important lesson you learned at Sheridan?
There are two lessons that stuck with me, both involving perspective: Always try to see things from a different point of view than your own, and see the potential, not the limitations.
What advice would you give a student or recent graduate?
Your education does not define who you will be. It is a tool; use it to help build what you will become.