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Check out what’s been going on in our world!
Check out what’s been going on in our world!
Our February newsletter puts all our news and events in one easy place. Check out ‘The Swing of Things at Astonished!’ by clicking here……
Changing your life path is not easy at any age but sometimes life swoops in and invites you to make a change. Four years ago, Hillary Moffatt was a third-year apprentice electrician, pregnant with her second child, and living with excruciating back pain. Yoga was the only thing that helped alleviate the back pain, and yoga became the path that intrigued Hillary. Now twenty-four, the mom of two children (5 and 2.5), half way through her third year in Health Promotion in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, Hillary is volunteering with Astonished! in our Yoga for Everybody class.
Hillary has completed her 200 hour Yoga teacher training and is currently working towards her 500 hour Yoga teacher certification. She teaches yoga at Oxygen Yoga and Fitness where she runs a kids Yoga program, and also teaches yoga to a boys’ basketball team (13 and 14-year old’s) for an hour each week. Her dream is to create an inclusive yoga program for children and youth ages 2-18, so volunteering with the Astonished! Yoga for Everybody, which is led by Rebekah Lindenbach and Ruth Blaser, seemed like the perfect place for Hillary to volunteer.
Hillary says “I love what I am learning about how people practice yoga in a wheelchair. When I teach yoga, the hardest part is to get people to feel relaxed and feel grounded physically and mentally. At Yoga for Everybody, everyone is able to come into shavasana (the final pose of any yoga class) in a way that is comfortable and relaxing for each individual participating.”
Welcome Hillary, we look forward to what we will learn together on this place where our paths cross.
Photo: Rebekah Lindenbach and Hillary Moffatt
Elisa Wong is a 4th year University of Regina student in the Kinesiology and Health Studies Program. This semester, Elisa is doing her Fieldwork Placement (560 hours) with Astonished! Elisa is particularly interested in the program areas of Astonished! She is focusing on the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre and the Astonished! Social Club. She is also developing her skills writing grant proposals and assisting with preparation for the Astonished! Spring Gala. Although she has volunteered with Astonished! in previous semesters, Elisa says her current role is new to her and she is happy for the guidance Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous and Katherine Taylor offer her.
Elisa loves volunteering and the opportunities it provides to meet new people. Her outgoing personality is a real asset and she is open to adventures. She travelled to Anaheim, California in 2015 to take part in VidCon. VidCon produces events and experiences for people who work in online video and for the people who love it. Elisa has a Vlog of her travels and adventures. In the summer of 2017 she was part of a French immersion program at Université de Montréal. Click here to see her Vlog of that adventure.
Elisa hopes to do future studies in Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta. We wish her all the best in her application and are delighted to have her with us this semester.
Photo: Elisa Wong and Sean Davis
A Future Maker acts now, for the future, not only for their personal future, but for the future well-being of the wider community. In November 2017, Doug and Barbara Mader gave a generous donation to the Astonished! Endowment Fund through transfer of shares in a stock. The Astonished! Endowment Fund was established in 2015 through the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation. Donations to the Astonished! Endowment Fund are invested in perpetuity, the capital is never touched. It is left to grow. A portion of the annual investment income from the fund may be used for Astonished! operations and programming, thus providing a legacy for Astonished!
If you are considering transferring stocks this is Doug’s advice. “There is no capital gain for either the donor or the charitable organization, a transfer of shares in a stock is a win-win for both. The donor receives a charitable tax receipt for the donation and the charity has annual income it can count on.”
We are deeply grateful to Future Makers Doug and Barbara Mader.
Photo: Barbara and Doug Mader, and Pepper
Kelly Schnurr is one of the astonishing people we are highlighting in our November 2017 e-newsletter. Kelly is currently completing prerequisite courses for a degree in Social Work at the University of Regina. He is also volunteering with Astonished! To read more about Kelly and some of the other astonishing people in the Astonished! community click here……
Landon Sawden is the newest A! Student Researcher. Landon started at the A! Teaching and Learning Centre in September and he is actively pursuing his goals. Each Student Researcher works with a group, of their choosing, to identify their Strengths, Dreams, and Needs. Landon recently met with his group and identified two big goals: 1-To move out of his family home into age appropriate housing that supports his specific needs. 2- To succeed as a degree student at the University of Regina.
For most 25-year old’s these can be big goals, but if you add in the need for accessible housing, support with some personal care, accessible transportation, someone to take notes in class, and a low fixed income, the barriers to achieving these goals can seem insurmountable.
Landon is identifying what he is looking for in housing and researching the housing options in Regina. He is learning about the enormous cost of some locations, the long wait lists, and the wide range in quality of housing and supports. We will all benefit from Landon’s research because there are many in our community who want to know about accessible affordable housing, what is available, and how the system works to access such housing.
Landon is registered as a degree student at the University of Regina. Prior to this Landon was part of the U of R Campus for All Program where he audited classes and had the support of a buddy for things like note-taking and getting familiar with the campus. This semester Landon is taking Psychology 101, his first class toward his degree. He was able to receive a U of R Accessibility Grant to help with some of the costs, and he now has a volunteer note-taker, but this is a time-consuming process for Landon and he has some great suggestions on how to make it more efficient for everyone.
Landon is trying to juggle class time, study time, A! Teaching and Learning Centre time, travel time (via ParaTransit), researching housing options, and occasionally getting enough sleep. He is up and in his chair for more that 50% of every day and he wants and needs more down time. The good news is Landon is a man on a mission and he has a wonderful team in his court. Welcome Landon.
We work in inclusive community to address barriers facing young adults with complex physical disAbilities (core members) by creating opportunities for teaching and learning, social, recreational and cultural engagement, and for employment and housing.
The Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished Inc.
University of Regina
3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, SK S4S 0A2
Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous, Executive Director, 306-737-9560