“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
In the true spirit of self-advocacy, Carl recently served a two-year term as a member of the Ontario Advisory Network (OAN) for Christian Horizons, reviewing initiatives and issues related to the Strategic Plan priority to Support People. He examined activities such as a satisfaction survey and occurrence / incident reporting statistics, and kept tabs on the status and growth of various initiatives, all with the intention of having his voice, his insight, and his ideas heard.
Carl understood the importance of advocating for himself and his peers and the impact it could have on the supports that Christian Horizons provides; he was determined to do what he needed to do in order to be at the meetings, fully prepared and present, ready to share from his heart.
Carl invested time and energy towards personal development. He adjusted his routine from being “early to bed, early to rise” on the days of the meetings in order to conserve energy for the meetings, which ran late into the evening. He also took control of the logistics to make sure that he had a way to travel the ½ hour each way to the meeting site.
Carl also recognized that he was a quiet, gentle speaker who took his time to formulate his thoughts and share what was on his mind. It was important to Carl that he contribute meaningfully to these discussions because he recognized the value of his experience and knowledge. Carl invested time and effort before the meetings to review all the material and prepare his ideas, giving him the time he needed to work out what he wanted to share. This hard work made it possible for him to actively participate in the discussion and share his valuable insights.
Carl overcame personal barriers and demonstrated strengths in making observations, thinking things through, and helping to solve problems. His hard work paid off and he made a lasting impact on the work of the OAN and also developed relationships with other members, with whom he plans to keep in touch.