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Robert Chaffey

Robert Chaffey

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies

Degree: Community Worker

Year of graduation: 2007

One Man's Journey

I came to Sheridan after many years working in sales and marketing for a large pharmaceutical company. In my early thirties, I realized I had a greater calling. I was in a career that I did not love and, I must admit, I believe the feeling was mutual.

At first, my job was incredible! I was making good money, travelling and was envied by my friends. But I gradually realized the job was not for me. I tried to go back to school a few times but life kept getting in the way.

After receiving a golden handshake, I changed my career direction. Considering my lifelong interest in volunteering and poverty-related issues, I decided to pursue work that would make a difference and that meant going back to school. I studied Social Work at the University of Waterloo for a year but didn’t enjoy it. After reading Sheridan’s Community Worker course outline, I knew it was for me. The program focused on enhancing our skills so that we could be effective community organizers.

As a student, I helped raise funds for my peers to go to Ecuador to assist in community development. I was also selected as the school’s student delegate at the Homelessness Forum. My field placement at Friends and Advocates Peel re-confirmed that I was on the right career path. As the father of four school-aged children, I could not afford to waste my time or money. Attending Sheridan was time and money well invested.

In my current job as an Employment Services Worker with Ontario Works Peel, I have listened, made referrals, advocated, mediated and developed program curriculum. I developed a life skills series focused on ways to succeed as a new employee. I watched six graduates from my employment services program go on to attend college. While working with the Salvation Army, I completed a Community Needs Assessment in the Region of Peel. I have always believed that keeping an open mind and open heart can help to open doors.

One of my professors told us, “If you are successful in this program, you will become a better person.” The Community Worker Program enhanced some of my present skills and helped me find others that I was unaware existed. Thank you Sheridan for showing me the door to my better tomorrow.
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