This week’s Sprott Shaw Hero is Senen Abrazado, who has achieved so much since he graduated from Sprott Shaw College nine years ago.
Nearly over a decade ago in May 2011, Senen graduated from our Surrey campus as a student in our Health Care Assistant (HCA) program. Since then, Senen has accomplished so much including assuming the role of Program Manager at Woodrich Group Home of WHRC (Western Human Resource Corp). Together with his hardworking team, Senen supports four individuals with developmental disabilities and provides them with a healthy and safe home during this challenging time.
Senen’s passion for healthcare and helping others started long before he moved to Canada. As a dentist for over 15 years back home in the Philippines, it was an easy decision for him to choose the field of healthcare as his career path when his family moved to Canada in 2010. Coming from a family of doctors and nurses, it was also innate for him to want to pursue a career caring for other people.
Finding a Job After Graduation
While the journey to get there was not easy, Senen ended up exactly where he wanted to be in the end.
After completing our Health Care Assistant program with Honours, Senen was not able to receive a job opportunity at a senior facility. However, hope was not lost for him. In spite of this, he worked as a volunteer at a group home in Surrey, supporting a gentleman with a developmental disability. As life would have it, this experience opened the door for an employment opportunity at a group home funded by Community Living British Columbia (CLBC).
After a few months of working at the group home, Senen transferred to the employment services sector where his main goal was to help disabled individuals find paid employment. His dedication and commitment as an employment specialist was noticed by the management there and led to his promotion as a manager. During this time, he managed two licensed homes for residents with a variety of diverse needs.
After a few years, in May 2016, Senen received the opportunity to work at WHRC as the Program Manager there, which brings us back to present time.
Life as a Program Manager at WHRC
Since becoming the Program Manager at Woodrich Group Home of WHRC, Senen’s workdays have been much busier. Aside from all of the administrative duties and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the group home, most of his time is spent making sure that all four of his male residents are healthy, safe, and of course, happy. For Senen, it’s important for both him and his team to provide “person-centered” support in their residents’ daily lives since they consider Woodrich to be their home.
During ideal settings and circumstances, Senen’s residents are often given the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities and develop and maintain relationships at home and out in the community. However, with the global pandemic, things have become a little more challenging at the group home as most of the programs and activities were temporarily paused as a means to keep the residents and staff safe. Nevertheless, as Senen says, “as the captain of this ship, we were able to navigate the stormy journey of this pandemic. We came up with creative ways to give the residents a chance to stay connected with their peers and family, as well as explore a few activities that they will enjoy.”
Senen loves seeing the residents explore their environments and try new things. In his eyes, he sees his residents with a “diverse-ability,” and not a disability.
Thank you, Senen, for your hard work, dedication, and commitment to helping others and changing their lives for the better!