Amanda Goertz, 24, didn’t know what social work was until she started the Social Service Worker diploma program at CNC. She soon discovered it was a natural fit.
“My grandma and aunties fostered kids and we helped out by babysitting,” she said. “Also, my sister is adopted. My grandma had fostered her since she was a baby and we ended up adopting her. I’ve always be in the care role, but I didn’t realize there was a whole program about that.”
Amanda was born and raised in Vanderhoof. She started at CNC right after high school.
“I took some general electives because I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she said. “CNC was close to me and I’d heard good things.”
As time went on, the field of social work appealed to her. She moved to Prince George for the CNC diploma program and dove right in.
“My classmates and teachers were awesome,” Amanda said. “It was a smaller group, so you really got to connect with people. We learned a lot, especially a lot of life skills that I can use with myself, in my relationships with family, boyfriend, all the people I deal with.”
Before she completed all her requirements, Amanda was offered a job at Carrier Sekani Family Services, a non-profit in Vanderhoof that offers holistic wellness services for its member Nations.
Since her plan was to move back to her hometown, she took the job. To finish her remaining electives, however, she was faced with online courses. The selection was limited Amanda found it difficult to stay concentrated and motivated.
When CNC brought Digital Delivery Instruction (DDI) to the Vanderhoof campus, she was over the moon. Through video technology, DDI allowed her to remain in Vanderhoof while participating in classes at other campuses, in real-time. With only a couple classes left, DDI has allowed Amanda to finish her diploma and keep her job.
“It’s a huge advantage,” she said. “I feel connected to the class and my instructors again. I can see them, hear them and their questions, ask questions.”
In her three years at Carrier Sekani Family Services, Amanda has held a few different positions.
“There’s so many areas you can work in,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to move around and see the different points of views.”
She’s currently a Family Empowerment Worker but her goal is to become a Guardian. That role is responsible for making sure children are comfortable in their foster homes and still connected to family.
“It would be quite a step up, so I need my schooling in place before I get that job. I’m very close,” she said.
Amanda admits work can be hard sometimes.
“Some days are crazy,” she said. “But you see the differences you make, the clients make, and the children make. It keeps you going. I came from more of a privileged home. Seeing the other side of things is important.”