- What have you learned working at Via West?
- How has Via West affected your career path?
- What is the most valuable thing you have learned at Via West?
What have you learned working at Via West?
I work with the special needs community, running a fun, exciting camp opportunity where campers have fun and learn life skills. I gained a sense of appreciation for how families spend all year long taking care of the campers, and the patience and skills required to do a job in special needs care.
Sahil K., Counselor
San Jose, CA
Patience, cooperation, empathy, and open-mindedness. This work experience is life changing. Helps to really understand there’s more to life than the material and the “disadvantages” we have.
High School Student | San Jose
At Via West, I have learned patience and critical thinking skills. It is a rewarding work experience and I have a gained a new appreciation for life because of Via West.
Darwin C., Program Staff
College Student | Hayward, CA
How has Via West affected your career path?
I worked at Via West from November of 2015 up until September of 2018. I started at Via West as a Camp Counselor and moved up to a Head Counselor. As a Head Counselor I was able to learn how to work with clients, parents and staff. The position that impacted me most was working as a Head Counselor. This position gave me the opportunity to be versatile and challenged my ability to be flexible which I believe is very important in working in the special needs community. I initially decided to work at camp because being a college student I felt like the job was perfect for my schedule but as I continued working at Via West I began to love what I was doing. I loved working at Via West and I ultimately decided to change my route in college. I changed my major from English to Child Development with a minor in Special Education. Via West changed my entire perspective of what I wanted for my future career and I would not have changed it for a thing. I am now working as a Lead Program Coordinator at an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Company. Without Via West I would not be where I am now. I enjoy working in the special needs community and am looking to join a masters program to become a Speech Language Pathologist.
I worked at Via West from January to August 2018. During my time at camp, I worked as a member of the Program Staff and eventually took the position of Program Director during the summer. I wanted to work at Via West because I knew it would be a great opportunity to gain experience working with individuals who have disabilities and make a positive impact in the lives of those individuals. I formed a lot of meaningful bonds with the staff and participants of the camp. I definitely experienced plenty of laughs! I feel that my experience at camp helped me gain more leadership and public speaking skills. My time at Via solidified my confidence in being able to plan and facilitate fun and engaging activities that are inclusive to all populations. I am currently the Activity Director at Cupertino Healthcare and Wellness Center and my experience with Via definitely helped prepare me for this new chapter in my life!
I worked at Via West from the start of the year 2018 until the end of summer ’18. A former manager invited me to try a weekend session and that weekend I quickly fell in love with the job! During my occupation, I started as a counselor and worked my way to be Head Counselor(HC) for the summer ’18.
While working at ViaWest I enjoyed being able to offer service to those who need it, all the staff was bonded together through the passion of helping others. The support system and training is beyond expectations, so if you’re new, there’s no need to worry.
Having the role of HC definitely gave me a useful bag of knowledge that I’ve applied to my own career in business. Having the “participant first” mentality towards all of my costumers. Through the summer we had 80% out-of-state counselors, so knowing how to be “adaptable to my audience” has come a long way.
Shortly after ViaWest I moved into Fresno. Now I am currently finishing school and have partnered in recently opening a business! I could not have gone this far if it wasn’t for ViaWest being such a great environment to refine my skills.
I worked at via in the fall of 2017 as a Program Director for my Recreation Therapy Internship. I reached out to Via West because of having deep need to help other’s grow and connect on a therapeutic level through fun. I am no longer the program Director and currently obtained a position working in a clinical psychiatric facility, but I still come back to camp to assist periodically when needed. The most rewarding part about working with anyone at camp is witnessing them grow and make connections with each other in ways they didn’t realize they could before. Almost everything that each camper experiences during sessions serves a purpose for them to improve their quality of life.
Working at Via is tiring and challenging at times, but overall extremely rewarding and fun at the same time. Being the Program Director forced me to enhance my flexibility, ability to adapt to changes, improve my interpersonal communication skills, and team building skills. When it comes to working with clients, you will always be working within a team setting to provide the best services to assist someone on a therapeutic level. If it wasn’t for Via West, I don’t think I would be as experienced or prepared for the role I play now within my current career. Via has provided me learning experiences within the field and I try to pass on those same learning experiences onto others.
I began working at Via West during the summer of 2018. I had worked as a behavior technician in college and wanted to change it up a little so I decided to try a camp setting. I started as counselor and ended as program director. I learned how to better manage a team and work together to reach a common goal. What I love most about Via West is the relationship with coworkers and participants. I am currently a 4th grade teacher in Central California. No matter how long I am gone for, I know I can always come back and be welcomed.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned at Via West?
Purpose- I’ve never been so proud of a job. I go home after every session with happy memories and a sense of pride that I contributed to a good cause. It’s a lot of physical and mental work, but seeing the participants have a good time and building meaningful relationships with them/teaching them something makes it all worthwhile.
Jessica G., Program Staff
San Francisco | College Student
Getting an opportunity to build teamwork, support individuals who need it, and be a part of a community. It is very exciting and fulfilling with new experiences.
Sebastian S., Counselor
Oakland | College Student
An understanding and appreciation for the many ways in which a person can live. I have learned a lot about patience and the needs that I take for granted every day, and thus what I need to be thinking about when it comes to caring for other individuals.