Helping Hands at JAC

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Karyanne Smith-Flanders
Contributor

West Montreal Readaptation Center (WMRC) is a rehabilitation center for people with an intellectual disability or autism. It is rewarding work in a supportive environment that helps them to maintain their skills, develop new interests, acquire knowledge and improve their quality of life. Several Montreal campuses welcome groups of up to 10 WMRC clients such as John Abbott College and Vanier College.
-From a WMRC brochure

In the beginning, the On Campus program was only an assignment to me. I was spending time with a Buddy and getting to know them. I was helping them do work around the school and helping them through the small things in life.

To be honest, I was a little bit nervous in the beginning because just like any other college student, I did not know how to handle people with mental handicaps. But as I went along, I became more and more comfortable with the Buddies and I realized that they only want to be treated like everyone else.

I started enjoying spending time in the On Campus program office and with the Buddies. I also started spending time with them outside of my scheduled sessions with my assigned Buddy because I got attached to each one of them. It was a unique experience that I enjoyed from beginning to end where I learned things about myself and about the people I worked with.

The On Campus program is where I learned which field I wanted to work in and what I wanted to do with my life. This program was a unique experience with amazing people. I helped the Buddies with regular tasks and they taught me things about myself that I would have never figured out on my own. Even after the assignment was complete, I continued volunteering with the program because it was something I loved. This program started as a simple psychology paper and became a source of inspiration for my future.

This was one of many students perspectives on their time with the WMRC On-Campus Program. For anyone interested in this amazing on-campus oppertunity please see Boris Paredes, H-048 for more information. He will set you up with everything you need to get involved.

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