Over the course of my three years at Wood’s Homes, I learned an incredible amount about the strength and resilience of myself and the incredible youth I worked with. The work was tough, and my empathy was constantly in overdrive. I was quickly becoming burnt out from the long shifts and the heaviness on my heart that I hadn’t quite learned to put down, so I decided to move to Halifax – chasing adventure and a change of pace. Moving was my self care.
It was in Halifax that I made the decision to return to school and pursue a career in teaching. It would allow me to continue working with children, while also providing me with the freedom of using summers to travel, scuba dive, and explore a new growing interest of mine: marine biology.
I moved to the island shortly after graduation. In similar fashion to my sister, I am in a completely different place now than my initial choices lead me to believe I would be - and I couldn't be happier! Through the elementary curriculum, I have opportunities to introduce my students to ocean conservation, and even take them to explore the local beaches, shores, and aquariums. I still read and write daily - with and without my students. I scuba dive as often as I can, with my most recent adventure being a live-aboard shark diving trip in the Bahamas.
When my sister asked me to be part of this project, I was so grateful. I love the opportunities safe spaces like this one provide. My whole life, I have always wanted more, more, more. I want to be saturated with experiences. I want to be full of stories. I want to rise in every way possible, and become the lightest and brightest version of myself. I want to be healthy, happy, and connected to those who feel the same.
CO-CREATOR OF ROOM TO RISE
Hi there! I’m Baylee – I love words, black licorice, and anything underwater. I’m an elementary teacher on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Although this is where I’m currently settled, I’ve left roots in seven different cities across three provinces in the last nine years. I love adventure, travelling, and living where I can see the ocean. I get most of my energy from being outside, reading, and spending time with my cat, Tofino.
Like my sister, I grew up in a small town in rural Alberta, where my childhood was ordinary and my teenage years were turbulent. Reading and writing were windows for me to explore and challenge my own ways of thinking, and I relied heavily on both throughout high school. As a result, I fell in love with the magic of words, and how they can be used to bridge readers, writers, and experiences.
As I got older, I became fascinated with the ways in which my own mind seemed to be working, and felt drawn to the field of psychology. I left home post-graduation to pursue a career in child psychology, hoping to work in a children’s hospital. In my final year, a particular practicum placement changed the direction of my interests, and I found myself with a fulltime position as a youth and family counsellor at a mental health treatment center with teenage males.