Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Degree: Community and Justice Services
Year of graduation: 2011
Growing up in Toronto and Mississauga, Rebecca Pereira was taught to resist judging people who were different from her. This made it easier for her to understand those who were in conflict with the law. Considering a career as a lawyer, Rebecca worked at a law office over a summer while completing her Honours B.A. at Brock University.
“I realized I needed to do something more hands-on. I wanted to be part of the rehabilitation process and Sheridan’s Community and Justice Services program seemed like the perfect fit,” says Rebecca. “Lucky for me, I was right where I needed to be.”
Her work as a Student Probation Officer in Mississauga in her last year at Sheridan left an indelible mark on Rebecca and gave her the experience and confidence to secure her current position with the Correctional Service of Canada. She is now a Primary Worker at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener.
“I have learned many lessons from my clients,” says Rebecca. “My definition of diversity has expanded with each new client. They challenged my views on abnormal behavior, mental health and taught me to be more understanding and patient.”
But 9 to 16 hour shifts in a work environment that is often negative can be tough at times, says Rebecca. So I engage in activities outside of work to reduce stress, add an element of positivity and give me outside goals to attain.” To this end, Rebecca opened her own photography studio, Bex Pereira Photography, in 2011. “Snapping photographs of smiling faces, magnificent landscapes and beautiful things became my form of meditation,” she says.
Rebecca will be sure to pass on her lessons about the patience and the value of self-care to her brother, Kevin, who will graduate from Sheridan’s Social Service Worker program in Spring 2014.
Learn more about Sheridan’s Community and Justice Services Program.