“Wow, Joie is strong,” says Sheila Cordovez, a Three Links volunteer, “She can lift wheelchairs and manoeuvre them onto the bus really fast. She’s also learning to speak Mandarin and Cantonese and she’s like a human GPS system. I don’t think anyone can do that job except for Joie.”
Anyone who knows Joie Sy is pretty sure she’s a superhero. She’s as cool as a cucumber under pressure and always has time to help others, no matter how busy she is. During recent staffing changes in the recreation team, she put in many extra hours to keep recreation programs afloat and plan our 35th anniversary party, her calm demeanour never waning. It’s hard not to smile when Joie’s around – her warmth and kindness are contagious.
Joie graduated as a nurse in the Philippines in 2007 and came to Canada to care for her cousin’s children. Her nursing qualifications were not transferable, so, once she became a permanent resident, she studied to become a care aide. Her first job was at Three Links Care Centre. Joie stood out because of her exceptional communication skills and started getting offered casual shifts in recreation. “I was hesitant,’ says Joie, “I didn’t know how to approach residents. All my work before that had been in hospitals. But by watching my coworkers, I learned what the residents liked and what they wanted to talk about.”
Joie grew to love recreation and decided to enroll in a diploma in recreation therapy. Pro Vita, the company that manages recreation staff at Three Links, jumped at the opportunity to hire her full time as a recreation aide. Six years later, she still loves it. “When the residents thank me, it’s so rewarding,” says Joie, “They say ‘Oh, honey, you should relax. You’ve been running all day.’ I didn’t think they noticed, but they do.”
Three Links will be celebrating Joie’s six years as a Three Links team member (and superhero) at our Staff Appreciation Day on September 13, alongside the many other staff and contractors who work so hard to make Three Links a great place. See you there!