Our Latest News
Check out what’s been going on in our world!
Check out what’s been going on in our world!
Corrie Van Burgsteden, Pagan Racette, Stephanie Ikekhuamen, Kaitlyn Hoar, Alix Norum (Astonished! Leadership Team), and Katherine Taylor (Astonished! Program Coordinator) were not daunted by blowing snow and icy streets. On November 5th they met, as they do the first Monday of every month, to organize events for the Astonished! Social Club. Last month was a scary cookie bake-off to celebrate Halloween, this month will be a Regina Cougars hockey game. They plan a variety of social and recreational events in response to the diverse interests of the Astonished! Core Members. For every event they attend to the details of accessibility, transportation, food and beverages, and of course fun. Thanks to this wonderful group of six for keeping the A! Social Club vibrant.
Photo: Corrie Van Burgsteden, Pagan Racette, Stephanie Ikekhuamen, Katherine Taylor, Kaitlyn Hoar, Alix Norum.
Kristin Drummond is completing a Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies from the University of Calgary. This degree is offered though online courses from the University of Calgary and Athabasca University. As part of her degree studies Kristin is currently doing a community-based practicum with Astonished! She is writing a volunteer manual that will support the orientation of Astonished! volunteers.
In addition to working on her degree and doing a placement with Astonished!, Kristin works 4/5 time as a client services coordinator at Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan. Kristin has life experience and education that contribute to her skills at work. She has Cerebral Palsy and has used a wheel chair since her middle-school years. As a child and a teenager growing up in Swift Current her grandparents played a significant role in her life. Kristin has an Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate from Douglas College, and a certificate in Life Skills Coaching. She loves teaching transferable skills to people with disabilities. For example, she taught a community cooking class that included skills in math, reading, decision making, and self esteem. Kristin always tries to ensure that the people involved are part of the decision-making process and she is always willing to learn.
Kristin currently lives in Regina and is a regular traveler on ParaTransit. On her workdays she wakes at 5:30 AM to be ready for her bus that arrives at 6:50 and gets her to her workplace for 8:00. She notes it is difficult to plan down-time between activities because it is a challenge to get home and back in the time available. She can relate to the lives of many of the Astonished! Core Members who also must factor in a large amount of time in each day for travel. Time management takes on a fourth dimension when you must include accessible public transportation into the shape of your day, every day.
We are happy to have Kristin on the A! Team and are looking forward to learning with her.
When you attend an event like the Astonished! Gala or the Astonished! Walk and Roll do you ever wonder how this all came together? Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous, the Executive Director of Astonished!, is a pro at organizing events and she knows how important it is to have a competent team for any event to be successful. This semester Adeena Cox and Brooklyn Weisgerber, students in Sports and Recreation Studies at the University of Regina, are doing their Junior Practicum in Sport and Recreation Management with Astonished! Their focus is organizing, promoting, coordinating, and evaluating the 2018 Walk and Roll .
Adeena and Brooklyn have a few things in common: they each plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Sports and Recreation Management, they each are the eldest daughters in their families, and they both have their sights set on clear goals after graduation. Adeena’s long term goal is to work on an Olympics gymnastic committee. In the short term she hopes to manage a gym or a team. She is currently a coach at the Wascana Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. Brooklyn hopes to work at female hockey development with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, encouraging more females to be involved in hockey, especially at the younger levels.
Brooklyn chose this placement with Astonished! because she has been part of events as a volunteer and like Adeena she wanted to experience the management of an event from start to finish.
Both Adeena and Brooklyn have registered teams for the Walk and Roll. Adeena knows how enthusiasm is contagious and her team quickly responded to the invitation to participate in the A! Walk and Roll. Brooklyn is seeking sponsors for the event and doing research on event sponsors. If you are interested in being a sponsor for the 2018 Walk and Roll please let Brooklyn know by e-mailing Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous.
Thank you Adeena and Brooklyn. We are delighted to have you with us.
Photo: Adeena Cox and Brooklyn Weisgerber
Each year the A! Summer BBQ seems to be even more fun. Tuesday August 21, 2018 was a perfect evening for a BBQ. People are genuinely interested in each other and love getting together to visit, get to know new members and friends, and enjoy the yummy BBQ treats. Thanks to the A! Leadership Team, A! Staff and families, and the Community Initiatives Fund for their support of this event. To see photos of the evening click here…
Photo: Jessica Opdahl and Katherine Taylor
Better-Together is a motto we try to live by. Each year our Spring Gala is a success in-part because of the outpouring of support we receive from our donors and community businesses. This summer Astonished! Core Members and staff have been delivering succulents to our Table Sponsors and Financial Sponsors as one way to say thank-you and express we are better-together. We ‘up-cycled’ donated coffee mugs and planted beautiful succulents. Thank-you to Fat Plant Farm for providing us with these succulents at a reduced cost. It was inspiring to meet so many supporters and say THANK YOU in person. We still have a few more deliveries to do over the summer and early fall. Check out the photos from our visits…..
Thank you to Kelsey Culbert for her dedicated work on the A! Leadership Team . We wish her well in her expanding theatre adventures and are happy we will continue to see her at the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre. Thank you to Courtney Bailey for her steadfast work on the A! Leadership Team. Courtney has been a team member since the beginning. We wish her joy as she balances life with her family, which includes three young children, a business, and her volunteer life. We are delighted to welcome Pagan Racette and Alix Norum to the Leadership team. We look forward to their contributions to future A! Social Club events. Be sure to check out upcoming A! Social Club events on our Events Calendar.
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