Shaking hands

Meet Me at the PMFRC

FOTOLIA

Introducing Amy MacKenzie

Name: Amy MacKenzie
Position:  Special Needs Inclusion Programmer


(Source: PMFRC)

Tell us more about your role at the PMFRC and the programs that you are involved in.
I am a member of the PMFRC Community Engagement team.  I facilitate monthly Exceptional Families programming, including the Exceptional Families Network and Welcoming Space. These groups support military, veteran, and civilian families who have a loved one or child living with a disability or exceptional needs. Our goal is to give families an opportunity to connect and share information.

I am also working on some new programs to help children develop their social skills and self-confidence. These programs are coming soon, and will be open to all children, so make sure you are signed up for our monthly newsletter to receive updates.

Great things really can happen when we talk with other families and support each other.

How long have you worked for the PMFRC?
I joined the team in September 2017.

Tell me about your background (experience, education, etc.)
I graduated with my Developmental Services Worker Diploma and Applied Medications Certificate from Loyalist College in Belleville. I have spent nearly 20 years supporting children and adults to develop skills, build relationships and self-direct their lives. 

I’ve taken a particular interest -- and have received additional training -- in community building, person-directed planning and facilitation, person-centred risk, Autism, ADHD, crisis intervention, dementia and navigating services here in Ontario.

What can people expect to see when they first meet you?
I’ve been told that I’m very approachable, so please say hi and introduce yourself!  I can be found at the Family Centre and the South Side Community Centre.

What is your favorite part about working for the PMFRC?
I really enjoy being a resource for families.  It is very important to me to provide accurate information to help people to connect with services and opportunities that will strengthen families.  Sometimes this means thinking outside the box, and I enjoy working with families to make that happen.

What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment working for the PMFRC?
Last month, we hosted an afternoon retreat for families with exceptional needs, made possible by a donation from Canada Company.  This was an opportunity for parents to have an afternoon to relax, be entertained, and connect with each other, while their children received excellent care and had a fun afternoon of their own. 
 
The words of gratitude we received from the families who attended the retreat really instilled the message that families need opportunities for self-care.  Too often, we put ourselves last.

Great things really can happen when we talk with other families and support each other.

What brought you to Petawawa? How long have you lived here?
My family returned to the area in August 2017.  This is our second posting to Petawawa and we love being back!

What advice do you have for families transitioning to Petawawa?
It’s a beautiful area to live in!  Meet your neighbours.  Check out your community recreation guides and newsletters.  Visit the PMFRC Family Centre, library, a gym, join a club, volunteer, and learn something new.  We all have something to contribute to make our communities stronger.

What is your favorite thing about living in the area? What is your favorite thing to do in the winter? The summer?
I learned how to fish and golf the first time I lived in Petawawa.  Now our family enjoys fishing and boating, snow-shoeing, exploring caves and trails.  I am also a hockey mom, so you may find me in rinks at any time of day.  I am still a terrible golfer, so I need to work on that.

Leave us with a few words of wisdom -- what is your favorite quote?
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  Helen Keller

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  George Bernard Shaw

“When I came here, I was looking for a community.  Then I realized I was helping to create one.”  Unknown