Welcoming Lesley

School is back in session and Lesley is our newest practicum student. She’s helping the Basic Needs team with all kinds of programming and generally keeping things running smoothly. Next time you’re at the Centre, feel free to introduce yourself.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am a fourth-year social work student at the University of Calgary. I have also worked as a respite specialist with special needs children and their families in the past. It was my favourite and longest-standing job thus far. In my spare time, I love watching horror movies of any kind and have quite a serious Netflix obsession. I am also an avid swimmer and have a passion for anything water related. I like to think of myself as a creative soul and someone who is easy to talk to and can make you laugh. My friends think I am adorably strange sometimes…

What is your personal definition of feminism?

My favourite definition has always been bell hooks’ definition of feminism being a struggle to end sexist oppression. It is a movement that benefits everyone because everyone in some way, shape or form is negatively affected by sexist oppression in our current society. Everyone should have the opportunity to have a good quality of life regardless of their identity, whether they identify as a man or as a woman. Essentially I view feminism as equality for all.

What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?

After talking to multiple people, some who were affiliated with the Centre through the University and some were close friends who volunteered here, it was my top choice for my social work practicum. I was nervous about the interview until I entered the building and felt immediate relief. The place was so welcoming and made me feel safe and comfortable enough to be myself. I knew right then that this was the practicum position I wanted.

What’s one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?

I really look forward to learning more about the various programs offered by the Women’s Centre. There are so many wonderful resources here that I look forward to sharing with other people. I also would like to learn more about working with diverse populations in hopes of developing cultural competence. I really enjoy talking to and networking with women from all walks of life.

Describe a woman who you admire or who has influenced your life.

My Auntie Noni is one of the strongest and most beautiful souls I have encountered in my life. She is the first female head scientist of her department in the Canadian Space Agency and has always been a powerful female icon to me. She was bullied a lot growing up for being interested in a male job in a man’s world, but she never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do something just because she was a woman. She tells me always that I am an Amazon Woman and that I can do anything.

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