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Meet the new Program Coordinator team

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September 28, 2022

Hi there!

We’re your new Program Coordinators! We work in the office and oversee all Lower Mainland children’s programs. As a team we value being approachable, collaborative, adaptable and working together as a unified team.

Here’s what we do:

  • Develop curriculums & schedules based on member needs & interests
  • Book facilities & maintain partnerships with program partners
  • Guide our Training Team in providing resources to our participants & staff
  • Guide Onsite Supervisors in their on-the-ground support of program staff

While Onsite Supervisors are your go-to for any day-to-day questions in programs, the Program Coordinator team is your support system in the office.

We want to foster a place where staff can learn, grow & develop professionally. You will see Program Coordinators regularly supporting and representing CAN within our programs and at major events!

Our goal is to provide a safe and welcoming place for everyone while upholding CAN’s vision and our values.

Julia Sawers

Julia (she/her) is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a Combined Honours degree in Psychology and Law, Justice and Society.

After spending four years in Halifax, Julia recently swapped out the east coast for the west coast. Julia has worked previously at the Autism Research Centre in Nova Scotia and at Autism Nova Scotia, in addition to working at the Early Phase Psychosis Unit while writing her thesis.

Julia played competitive basketball for over 10 years until retiring after moving across the country to attend University. She is looking forward to playing a part in ensuring every individual has an opportunity to access and enjoy the countless benefits of sports and recreation that she was able to experience during her basketball years.

She is thrilled to start this next chapter with CAN and to grow alongside this team!

Fun Fact: Julia loves to travel and had the opportunity to live for six months in Bath, England on an exchange prior to COVID. Julia also has a twin … brother!

Katie Ashley

Katie (she/her) is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Therapeutic Recreation. After six years in Halifax, she moved back to her hometown on the west coast to attend the University of British Columbia where she completed her master’s degree in Special Education, specializing in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Katie has spent the last seven years working with autistic individuals, as well as individuals with other disabilities, in community and home settings. During this time, she worked with her clients to build self-care skills, daily living skills, and utilized recreation and sport to enhance their lives.

With a background in therapeutic recreation and being an avid lover of sports and all things leisure, Katie cannot wait to help foster this love in others by playing a part in providing inclusive, accessible, enjoyable, and meaningful experiences at CAN!

Fun fact: During her free time, you can find Katie either on a surfboard behind a boat, on skis at a local mountain, or at the pottery studio making all kinds of ceramics!

Laurel Curtis

Laurel (she/her) grew up on Vancouver Island and spent much of her childhood exploring the beautiful outdoors that BC has to offer.

Laurel has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has worked at BC Children’s as a nurse in various wards and clinics since graduating from the University of British Columbia. Prior to switching degrees to nursing, she completed three years in Kinesiology focusing on adapting programs and improving accessible recreation. During her summers, she worked for overnight camps including leading multi-day trips.

She has worked as a coach and support worker for CAN for many years in a variety of programs, including most recently as the Summer Day Camp Coordinator. Laurel can’t wait to support CAN’s programs on a larger scale.

Fun Fact: Laurel LOVES pickles and her favourite food is pickle-flavoured hummus. (You’re welcome for your new favourite snack!)

Donné Davidson

Donné (she/ her) comes into this position with 11 years experience working as a Special Education Teacher Assistant, eight years of Recreational Access, and two years with CAN as a Support Worker and Onsite Supervisor.

Being active has always been a part of her life as a competitive swimmer and basketball player during her high school career. From those experiences she has passed her love of sports to high schoolers by coaching multiple sports such as basketball, swimming, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and rugby.

Through her work, Donné has developed a passion for creating welcoming environments for all with, a special place in her heart for those on the autism spectrum.

Fun Fact: Donné was born in South Africa and really enjoys being outside. You can often find her camping, in the water, or on the water kayaking.

The new Program Coordinator team is excited to provide inclusive, accessible, enjoyable, and meaningful experiences.

We are here for our members, staff and volunteers. We value being approachable, collaborative, adaptable, and working together as a unified team.

The team cannot wait to meet you in person!

Further reading:

Meet Kayla: “Growing up with undiagnosed autism was hard at times.”

Programs for Children, Youth and Adults on the Spectrum

Our Office Team