It's my job but it doesn't feel like work

Angela
Angela Hill
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I have the greatest job ever. Sometimes it doesn't always feel like that, especially since journalists, like any anyone who is employed, often complain about their work.

But over the last couple of weeks I am reminded why journalism is a great.

Just recently I was able to see a group of people come full circle.

The Skills Unlimited program helps people with a variety of addictions, many on methadone, and other troubled pasts prepare for work. The students who have been in class for six months graduate today.

I have the greatest job ever. Sometimes it doesn't always feel like that, especially since journalists, like any anyone who is employed, often complain about their work.

But over the last couple of weeks I am reminded why journalism is a great.

Just recently I was able to see a group of people come full circle.

The Skills Unlimited program helps people with a variety of addictions, many on methadone, and other troubled pasts prepare for work. The students who have been in class for six months graduate today.

So often we hear stories of people who want to come off drugs, but have failed to detox and failed to function without getting high. Their children are taken away, they rely on social services and usually don't have the skills required to be a functioning member of society.

It takes guidance, a lot of good decision making and hard work to change that around. Twelve people have taken the steps they need to get through the Skills Unlimited program and eight have full-time job offers.

One in particular has made such an incredible turnaround I didn't recognize her when I went to interview her about her new, full-time job. She was confident, full of potential and ready to vault over any barrier that stood between her and her goals. It takes a long time for her to trust, but she has managed to let enough people into her life that will support her as she continues forward. It is so exciting to see people succeed especially where it seems success is impossible.

In the Athabasca Health Authority a team of people work to overcome obstacles and make changes in the surrounding communities. There are many fantastic staff members and they all seem to function as a unit to have great accomplishments. They are working to get midwives to the area to ensure births can happen, and be celebrated, in the community. Mental health services in combination with community leadership have dropped what was traditionally a high suicide rate to zero.

I recently was told by a highly motivated, culturally aware young woman I interviewed back in early fall that she had received early acceptance to a university program. She is well on her way to being a nurse.

Across the province in 2008 HIV rates rose. However medical health officers regionally and provincially are already meeting to discuss the best ways to address the growing number of people infected with the virus. The communication will extend out to include meetings with program staff in British Columbia, where the rates of transmission have been reduced.

Not only do I get to be front and centre as people learn, grow and develop new plans and ideas, but I get to share that information.

There are days when I am so excited to write and take photos because I know that this information will remind our readers that even in a world of bleak news - where bleeding leads - there are lots of great things going on.

The crime rate may stay the same, the HIV rates are increasing, but Prince Albert is a community that continually pulls together despite, or maybe in spite of, the statistics. A fundraiser for the Children's Haven raised the most money they have ever seen in the last 20 years.

Seeing communities succeed and positive changes occur on a daily basis makes my job very rewarding. And if I can pass just some of it on to our readers and brighten their day or inform them, then I have done the best I can, with what I have.

Struggling to tell the stories that are important, watching out for what people need to know and speaking for those who aren't usually heard is my job and I am lucky to have it.

Hill is a Herald reporter. ahill@paherald.sk.ca.

Organizations: Athabasca Health Authority, Prince Albert, Children

Geographic location: British Columbia

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