Taylor LeBrun

Finding her fit with VIU’s Child and Youth Care degree program

February 7, 2022
Author: Eric Zimmer

Graduate Taylor LeBrun is living her dream.

Advocating for families and supporting them in a variety of capacities are the best parts of Taylor LeBrun’s job.

Taylor graduated from VIU’s Child and Youth Care degree program last summer, and found employment almost right away, signing on as a support worker at Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Nanaimo this past September.

“I wanted to work with the Indigenous community and I was talking to some of my professors about where they thought a good placement might be,” she recalls. “One of them recommended Tillicum, so I looked into it further, found a job posting, applied and got the position."

Her job includes supporting families in various capacities and offering one-on-one support when and where needed, “but my biggest role is being an advocate alongside the families.”

Taylor says she was drawn to her career choice largely because she has worked with kids all her life, including at summer camps and daycares. However, it was after completing the Child Protection Specialization as part of her degree that she realized her true desire to work with and alongside Indigenous communities impacted by the child welfare system.

“I learned a lot about how the influence of colonialism impacts Indigenous communities and I wanted to help combat some of the racism that is happening within these bigger systems,” she explains. “I am honoured to work alongside all of these families and witness all their little victories that happen in the face of so much adversity. I get to be on that journey with them and I feel really fortunate to be able to witness that.”

Beyond just finding her current position, Taylor says VIU’s program prepared her “really well” for the type of work she does and the field that she is in.

“I have certain values and beliefs about how kids deserve to be treated and this program aligned with those beliefs and what I wanted to do,” she elaborates. “The program focuses a lot on a lot of micro skills and meeting people where they are at and being genuine in what we do, which is super helpful when we’re working with different people who have encountered different adversity in their lives.”

For Taylor, who initially began her post-secondary career studying criminology at Douglas College, the fact that she could transfer her credits into the third year of VIU’s CYC program was an added bonus.

“The program creates really great connections, not only with my peers, but also with my professors who have a wealth of experience," she adds. "I felt really supported by them."

And for future or prospective students who may be considering a similar career in the field of child and youth care, Taylor called VIU’s program “amazing for anyone who wants to work with kids or families in different capacities."

Free CYC program info sessions

Interested in learning more about VIU’s CYC program and careers in Child and Youth Care? Don’t miss the upcoming free program info session on Thursday, February 24.

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