Welcome Crystal McLaughlin

When Harry Potter went to Hogwarts, he got to really know himself and tapped into his inner strength and skills. He knew suffering and loss in his life. With the help of his parents and his friends, he found his way and his power. Perhaps these are some of the reasons Crystal McLaughlin feels such a kinship with Harry. Crystal is in her final semester of a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina (U of R). She began this process seven years ago, when her daughter was one. Crystal was working at the Regina Residential Resource Center and realized she wanted to be part of the positive changes in people’s lives.

These seven years have held love and loss and increased self awareness. Five years ago, Crystal met Darcy Ward. Two years ago, they married, and Crystal expanded her family of two to a family of five, including Darcy’s son and daughter. This past semester Crystal took a leave of absence from school because Darcy was seriously ill. Last month Darcy died of kidney failure. We offer our regards to Crystal and Darcy and their extended families.

With great losses like this we must each find our way to go on. This month Crystal began her major social work practicum with Astonished! Crystal says that this time with Astonished! is helping her carry on. Crystal loves to learn and she is learning about ways of communicating that do not involve speech. Crystal brings a unique vitality and self-awareness to the Astonished! community. During her studies at the U of R she learned that she has both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. She has found that music and dance help her stay focused and release tension.

Crystal has much to offer Astonished!, and Astonished! has much to offer Crystal, especially at this particular time in her life. We look forward to our time of learning and being together.

PHOTO: Crystal McLaughlin and Kennen Dorgan