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By: Grandview Kids — January 22, 2020

For many teens across Durham Region, the recent PA Day meant extra time to sleep in, hang out with friends, or maybe play some sports or video games. For Grandview kid Kurt, 13, it meant testing out a dream job.

A plan was devised back in October at the Grandview Youth Advisory Committee’s Halloween event to have Kurt step in as CEO for the day; job shadowing Grandview Children’s Centre CEO Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann.

Diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth, Kurt spent much of his childhood at Grandview, participating in physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatments. He also attended senior kindergarten at Grandview’s co-located educational partner, Campbell Children’s School. Needless to say, getting the chance to come back to Grandview as CEO was a “cool experience.”

During his time as boss, Kurt took part in meetings with Lorraine.

“There are so many people that Lorraine has to talk to, report to and talk about the centre with. She’s busy!” said Kurt.

One of the main highlights of his day was meeting with Grandview Kids and Campbell Children’s School’s Technology Lead Shaun Maddock and the Grandview robot Joy.

“I liked the fact that Joy can drive around,” Kurt explained. “I took Joy to see other kids and got her to talk to them and if they wanted her to dance, I’d make her dance.”

Kurt also attended the official opening of Lakeridge Health’s new 22-bed Mental Health Unit at the Ajax-Pickering Hospital, meeting the Minister of Health, The Minister of Finance and the President of the Treasury Board along with Durham MPP Lorne Coe and hospital dignitaries. Lorraine describe how heartwarming it was to watch the group treat Kurt as a VIP, going so far as introducing him to the crowd as a special guest.

Kurt made the most of his opportunity to speak to political leaders by advocating for Grandview.

“I told them the wait times are too long,” Kurt said. “They seemed to understand that there are many Grandview kids who need help.”

His time spent with Lorraine and at Grandview made Kurt more confident in choosing his future career.

“I know I want to do something with the community, helping people,” he said.

“Spending the day with Kurt was wonderful. What was supposed to be a rich day of learning for him turned out to be all about learning for me,” Lorraine explained. “Kurt impressed me with his curiosity about the work we do at Grandview and especially about why we do it. His excitement about helping other Grandview kids was touching and impressive.”

Does your Grandview kid have a dream job they’d like to give a try? Email communications@grandviewkids.ca

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