Samantha Riesco is a driven young woman living with cerebral palsy, whose goal in life is to provide support and assistance to others. The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia (CPABC) has stood with Sam throughout her challenges and accomplishments, and assisted her to become the independent person she is today.
Getting Involved in our Programs & Services
In both 2010 and 2011, the CPABC awarded Sam a $1,000 Tanabe Bursary in support of her studies at Capilano University. The bursary allowed Sam to pursue her educational aspirations, further her growth, learning, and gain a higher education without financial barriers. She completed a General Associate of Arts degree at Capilano University, helping her become well equipped for the workforce.
School years are not complete without summer vacations, and Sam was also given the opportunity to attend summer camp, thanks to the CPABC Campership program. The Campership subsidizes costs to allow individuals of all ages living with cerebral palsy to attend an accessible camp or vacation of their choice in British Columbia.
Upon completing university, Sam spent over a year making new connections and actively searching for a job. Like many graduates with disabilities, she felt her abilities were scrutinized due to her cerebral palsy and the forearm crutches she uses for mobility. She had difficulty adjusting to her move from a small town to a new city to attend university. Thanks to the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC’s numerous social and recreational events, she connected with the CP community through programs such as Adapted Yoga and Community Connections.
Doing What She Loves
The North Vancouver resident eventually found her passion through her involvement with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Bounce Back Program. She is now thrilled to work for the Canadian Mental Health Association and WorkBC Employment Services Centre. “Getting to speak with someone new every day and be able to help them get the information and resources they are looking for is great. I work with a great team of people who all support one another and really care about the work they do, and it shows”. Sam is a firm believer in finding work that embodies her own mission and values and utilizes her skills.
The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia is extremely proud of how far Sam has come. We have seen her contributions to the community, and we hope that she will continue to make a difference in her future endeavours.