Saskatchewan Abilities Council




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A Natural Leader

There’s more to life than work—just ask Kyle Marianchuk. This busy young man has several jobs, is a volunteer ticket-taker at Yorkton Terrier games, participates in twice-a-week personal training sessions … and did we mention he’s teaching sign language at the Yorkton Branch Day Program?

The Council has supported Kyle in many ways, beginning with the Transitioning Youth to Employment program while he was attending Sacred Heart High School. This led to a janitorial job at the Gladstone Seniors Residence. He also works in the Training Centre at the Council doing sewing and collating, and has a job-carved position cleaning at the Council’s bus shelter.

Although he has successfully transitioned into community employment, Kyle continues to rely on the Council for recreation and leisure opportunities. He attends the Day Program and participates in a variety of activities—the kind of fun and everyday things that enrich quality of life.

Staying active and engaged in his community is important to Kyle. “I like swimming, yoga, using the exercise equipment at work and coffee outings at Tim Hortons. My favourite thing to do is shopping,” he says. “I have been told that I am a very good painter of pictures. I like painting and feel proud when I paint a picture that everyone really likes.”

Kyle is a natural leader who’s not afraid to take the initiative or try something new. Last year, he said the weekly kayaking sessions organized by day program staff were a highlight of his summer. When his program coordinator suggested he teach sign language phrases (Kyle is deaf), he jumped right in. He thinks teaching sign language to others is helping people get to know him better.

With support of day program staff, Kyle has developed a person-centred plan that identifies his personal goals for the year. One of his goals is to lose weight—something he is achieving through the Fun and Fit program. He’s also becoming more active outside the Council. “I joined the Special Olympics bowling team for the first time,” he says. “We have an event coming up in Moose Jaw in March, and I’m really excited about that.”

Kyle continues to enjoy his busy schedule, perhaps because he’s found what many of us are still searching for – a healthy way to balance work with physical activity, community involvement and good old fashioned fun.

By teaching sign language to staff and fellow day program participants, Kyle is helping build a more inclusive community within the Council.