Summer Lovin’ Had Me a Blast

With September just days away, we have to say so long to another incredible summer student. Devon jumped into the circus that is HIV West Yellowhead and took off running. A long time volunteer and Jasper born and raised, it felt like she belonged in the office doing her thing. Devon is an incredibly hard worker and bundle of energy and positivity. We are so proud of her many accomplishments and cannot wait to see her on the big stage one day.

Devon had a few thoughts to share about her summer, what a doll!

As my summer is slowly coming to an end, I’d like to take some time to reflect on my experience here at HIV West Yellowhead. When I first applied for the job of Summer Programmer, I thought I had a fairly good handle on what I was going to experience this summer; condom distribution, volunteer orientations, safe-sex workshops etc. In the past, I’ve had friends work in this position and I happily volunteered for them in many different capacities, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to have one of the busiest, challenging, most fun and rewarding summers I’ve ever had!

If anyone is debating whether they should apply for this job or not, stop debating and just APPLY already! Never have I worked in such a supportive and fun environment. Karly and Andrea are truly two of the best women I have ever met and continually supported me in all of my endeavors. All of the ideas and suggestions I made on various projects were not only liked but encouraged! And although at times, I had moments of self-doubt in my work and feelings of being overwhelmed, all of that was out-weighed by all of the amazing things I got to do this summer. A few of those things included hosting sexy pub trivia nights, sexual health jeopardy, organizing and running a Positive Community Norms campaign, dressing up like Captain Condom or Dental Damsel and handing out condoms at the bars, among so many other awesome experiences!

The most rewarding part of my summer, however, was truly understanding my peer group and challenging them to have a better understanding of sexual health. With my Safe is Sexy, Positive Community Norms campaign, I promoted positive sexual choices with four separate posters illustrating real statistics collected from young adults in Jasper regarding their sexual health. I got to use my creativity and recruited models, a photographer and stylists to fulfill the vision I had for this campaign. The entire project got to be my brain child and being able to see a project of this nature completely to the end was incredibly rewarding. Although it did take quite some work, seeing all of my posters around town, knowing that people are talking about them and having young adults ask me questions about them, is truly fulfilling. I feel as if I’ve made some kind of impact on my peers, and that is exactly what I aimed to do in this position. With that being said, if you’re motivated, organized and creative and looking to have an amazing summer job with some wicked people all while making a difference, then I suggest you send HIV West Yellowhead your résumé. Right. Now.

Well, what are you waiting for?


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