In December, 2019, Caitlyn Gillingham finished the last exam of her BSW degree at Booth University College, hopped in her car and drove 2300 km from Winnipeg, MB to Vancouver. BC. In the dead of winter. It is but one example of Caitlyn’s extraordinary journey of resilience and motivation to transform the world around her.
As the child of Salvation Army Officers, Caitlyn has called Yellowknife, NWT to Trail, BC, to London, ON, home. She early on thought of becoming a teacher, but after a period of discernment, and a gap year with Revolution Hawaii, she chose to attend Booth UC and study social work.
“The summer before I arrived at Booth UC, I volunteered in the Philippines, at an orphanage, and I knew that I had made the right choice to work with those who are vulnerable.” After a rigorous degree program in Social Work, Caitlyn has moved on to start her new career.
Now, as a full-fledged social worker, Caitlyn finds herself fulfilling her passions at Boundless Vancouver. Her resilience has helped her to navigate a new career amidst a pandemic and she is passionate about working with families as a Pathway of Hope caseworker and connecting with at-risk teenage girls, to help them reach their potential on their difficult adolescent journey.
In February 2020, Caitlyn planned a one-day workshop, following the Brave Global model, in which at-risk girls were celebrated and inspired to know that they matter, they have worth and they are not alone. She and her co-worker have now taken this Brave Global model to the next level, by starting a program called Brave Circles, where at-risk girls are matched with mentors, for one-on-one, ongoing mentorship. Through these positive relationships, the program seeks to empower and equip young women to develop their character and abilities.
Caitlyn shared some advice to those who are currently studying at Booth UC. “Take advantage of opportunities! It is through experience that you learn. Make mistakes, as it is by going through the process that you learn and build skills.” This alumna is most certainly living out Booth UC’s commitment of Education for a Better World.