Placement Student Profile: Rhiannon

  1. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your educational background?
    My name is Rhiannon Warner. I am currently a third-year student in the Bachelor of Early Learning and Community Development program at Algonquin College. I also have a two-year diploma in Social Service Work from St. Lawrence College. 
  2. Could you please share what led you to a placement with OCYI?
    As a part of program requirements, I am currently on my community-based placement. I have previously done placements in kindergarten and preschool programs. We were asked to fill out a form discussing our preferences for placements and I specifically asked for a placement that is directly involved in the child mental health realm. Upon receiving an email that I was placed with OCYI, I was over the moon! 
  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 create tangible memories that I can take wherever the world takes me, which I will have. I have learned so many transferable and specific skills, especially technology related. I did not realize the importance of technology when working directly or indirectly with children and youth. I was also hoping to accomplish networking with different community partners. 
  4. What sorts of things have you done so far?
    As a team we are working on videos that are an extension of the Moments Matter campaign. There will be a total of 12 videos, six of which are in English and six which are in French. We are the planning, filming and production team. These videos will touch on the topics of attachment, sense of agency, brain development, resiliency, self-regulation and temperament. The videos will be used by community partners, just as the Moments Matter posters and be uploaded through OCYI’s YouTube page. The videos that we have created encompass what community partners contribute to the realm of children’s mental health as well as applicable examples. 
  5. What are you hoping to bring to OCYI and what are you hoping to learn from OCYI?
    I hoped, and have accomplished through OCYI, to apply the knowledge and skills I have learned in the classroom in the field. I am very happy to have had this opportunity with OCYI as it solidifies what I have learned regarding children’s mental health. I have been able to speak with many individuals associated with OCYI and they have perspectives that affirm mine. 
  6. Why do you think it is valuable to do a placement with OCYI?
    I believe it is valuable to do a placement with OCYI because of the mission it upholds. We really are, as a collective team, helping kids to grow up great. Additionally, I personally have never done a placement that was primarily virtual and it taught me many important skills including networking with partners and presenting myself with professionalism in meetings with community partners. 
  7. Why do you think that OCYI is an important initiative for the City of Ottawa?
    I think OCYI is an important initiative because until recently, children’s mental health wasn’t as widely spoken about as it should be, or mental health as a whole for that matter. I think it is important to have so many community partners interconnected through task groups. Networking with multiple community partners is important because there are often interconnected services and professionals in the field that can learn from one another while continuing to create a vibrant and supportive community. 
  8. What are your career plans in the future?
    I would like to work in the realm of children’s mental health and advocacy. This is something I feel passionate about because I believe all children should have access to services. I also believe that we should talk about children’s mental health more. From the moment we are born we need our mental health taken care of and that is why organizations like OCYI, and its partners, are so important. 
  9. Why have you chosen to dedicate your career to supporting kids and youth?
    I have chosen to dedicate my career to supporting kids and youth because I believe it can be rewarding in multiple ways. Initially, I knew I wanted to be in a helping role in some capacity; to know that my efforts are directly and indirectly impacting children positively is so important and rewarding. Supporting kids and youth as a career offers many pathways, some of which I didn’t even know were possible before my placement with OCYI. I also find it rewarding because I know that I am making an impact through my work, and future work, which will shape memories and who I am as a professional. This is a career in which I can see myself constantly growing and evolving

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

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