Stephen started his journey at Baldy Hughes on a cold winter day on December 1, 2014. A resident of northern BC, Stephen was ready to commit to a program that would give him the opportunity to be the person that he wanted to be.
“When I first came to Baldy Hughes I was very scared, but the guys made me feel welcome and comfortable by helping me with a few things that I needed, and I appreciated that,” said Stephen. “I came to Baldy Hughes because I was tired of living the way I was living and I wanted to be a better son, brother, uncle, and friend.”
Soon after starting his program at Baldy Hughes, Stephen demonstrated a desire to take initiative and lend his skills and knowledge to the community. One of his first projects was to design a site-wide recycling program, which he spearheaded from day one. Stephen developed learning programs for the entire community and held workshops on the benefits and procedures of the recycling program.
Stephen also fully committed himself to every program component and recovery service made available to him at Baldy Hughes. When asked about his stay, he indicated that “my favorite program was the barn group – the group we had was close – so we all connected with our stories and opened our hearts a bit more than we did in the first phase. I can remember thinking to myself during our conversations “this is what I came here for… and I like this”.”
During his stay, Stephen applied for and became a member of the community’s Resident Leadership Program, and was also elected and became co-chairperson of the Baldy Hughes Civic Committee. Later in his stay, he was appointed as one of three Senior Resident Leaders and worked closely with fellow residents and staff to ensure the smooth operation of the community on a day-to-day basis.
Another highlight of Stephen’s life at Baldy Hughes was his deep involvement in traditional ceremonies and spirituality initiatives, specifically sweat lodge ceremonies, which he lead on a weekly basis for several months. During a visit to Baldy Hughes by Hon. John Rustad, BC Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Stephen had the privilege of presenting information on the outcomes of the work he had been conducting in these areas.
At his graduation ceremonies, the entire community shared their gratitude with Stephen for the work he did for the community, and his personal accomplishments as well. In reflection Stephen stated that “I feel in my heart that the work I did on “Stephen” was profound and that all the hard times and feelings that I had during my stay at Baldy Hughes were definitely what I needed to experience so I could grow and become the person I was supposed to be – which is myself – which isn’t such a bad person after all.”
We think that is a significant understatement, and wish Stephen all the best in his new life!