Placement Student Profile: Jade

  1. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your educational background?
    My name is Jade Groom-Pike and I hold a degree in Child and Family Studies from Nipissing University. After graduating in 2019, I wanted to learn more about our community and how we work to support children and families as a team. This curiosity led me to the Bachelor of Early Learning and Community Development program at Algonquin College, where I am currently in my third year. 
  2. Could you please share what led you to a placement with OCYI?
    As part of the Bachelor of Early Learning and Community Development program at Algonquin College, we have the opportunity to go on multiple placements. I have always had an interest in research and advocacy, particularly in terms of children’s mental health and developmental wellbeing, leading me to my placement with OCYI. 
  3. Could you please explain what sort of things you are hoping to accomplish during your time with OCYI?
    During my time with OCYI, I hope to make connections with community partners, build positive relationships with the OCYI team, and enhance my advocacy skills for the mental health and overall well-being of infants, youth, and families. 
  4. What sorts of things have you done so far?
    So far, in my time with OCYI I have reached out and communicated with numerous professionals in the field, conducted insightful interviews, and acquired valuable knowledge on the topics of children's brain development, attachment, agency, temperament, self-regulation, and resilience. Using these interview clips, we have been working on producing a series of six informational videos as an extension of the Moments Matter campaign. 
  5. What are you hoping to bring to OCYI and what are you hoping to learn from OCYI?
    Throughout my time with OCYI, I hope to bring fresh perspectives and apply my newfound knowledge and learning in practical settings. From this placement, I hope to deepen my understanding of the resources available for children, parents, and families within the community. 
  6. Why do you think it is valuable to do a placement with OCYI?
    OCYI has provided me with an incredibly valuable placement experience. The opportunity to visit so many diverse locations and individuals has been eye opening and informational. Understanding the variety of organizations supporting children's mental health and overall development is invaluable for my future career working with the community and I am grateful for the opportunity to have my community-based placement with OCYI this semester. 
  7. Why do you think that OCYI is an important initiative for the City of Ottawa?
    Supporting the mental health of infants and children can often be overlooked, and many may be unaware of what it entails in children. Spreading information and raising awareness is crucial for fostering important conversations about mental health and creating more avenues for support. OCYI also supports and advocates for professionals in the sector by offering accessible professional development opportunities, such as the Practice Change Champions workshops, which contributes significantly to enhancing community services. 
  8. What are your career plans in the future?
    While my exact career plans remain open, I have identified potential roles I would love to be in such as a Family Resource Consultant or a Playgroup Facilitator at an EarlyON center post-graduation. I believe that parents are the experts on their own children. Therefore, my career objectives involve being able to provide support, reassurance, and guidance to parents, families, and caregivers, allowing them to fulfill their children's needs and help them achieve their full potential. 
  9. Why have you chosen to dedicate your career to supporting kids and youth?
    Inspired by my oldest sister who is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, I always knew I wanted to work with children. The work completed by those who work with children is so valuable and inspirational, and I aspire to be someone who makes a positive impact on young children’s lives and advocates for the rights and needs of young children since their voices are not always heard.

Learn more about co-placement student Rhiannon in her profile here.

This story is part of the April 2024 Ovation. This story is also available in French.