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Belinda Batista (Graduate 2013, Social Service Worker)

George Brown social worker finds her place in the helping professions

Belinda Batista found her vocation at George Brown College the second time around. After enrolling in one program, she realized that becoming a Social Service Worker was her true calling.

Support from all sides

Batista says she found support from her fellow students as well as her professors. “We had some serious, eye-opening heartfelt discussions. That experience made me feel like I was part of a community that lasted until our last class together,” she says.

Encouraged to Earn a Degree Batista adds that she was driven to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work program at Ryerson University after a conversation with one of her professors. “I had never felt encouraged to pursue post-secondary studies until that moment. She truly made me feel valued and inspired me to pursue my academic goals.”

Meaningful work started early

Batista started her first job while still a student at George Brown, working part-time as a peer support worker at the college. After graduation, she worked as a residential counsellor at a family shelter and as a crisis intervention worker at a shelter for abused women and their children.

Batista now works at a hospital supporting people who are homeless or “precariously housed” as they are discharged from the emergency department. “The goal is to provide respite and basic necessities like showers, laundry and meals, as well as connecting individuals to community resources,” she explains.

Range of Employment Opportunities

“The vast education I received helped me to understand social work and open my mind to the many sectors available within the field.” Batista says that George Brown also gave her a sense of the different dimensions of the field.