Henry's story

Henry Lai has been developing and facilitating after school workshops for kids at the Musqueam Community Centre with Work Learn.

I love working with kids, and I’ve spent the past eight years getting experience as an educator for young people. I want to be a pediatrician, so working with youth on science education is exactly the experience I was looking for. That’s why my Work Learn position as an outreach program coordinator with the UBC First Nations House of Learning has been such a great fit.

After volunteering with the First Nations House of Learning for an Aboriginal youth science camp in the summer of 2012, I heard that they were hiring a Work Learn science program coordinator for youth (ages 7-12) on the Musqueam Reserve. I applied, interviewed, and got the job.

Since September of 2012, I have been developing and facilitating after school workshops in the community center; harvesting from our youth garden, dissecting chicken wings, and listening to stethoscopes have been some of my favourite activities with the kids there.

The end of this school year marks the end of my last Work Learn position as an undergrad. But the youth and I know that it’s never really goodbye – at least not yet – because we’ll reconvene in our annual summer camp for the third consecutive year, and hopefully not the last.

Entering a new community, demonstrating cultural competency, and of course, learning with youth, are all life experiences that I believe will shape me into a great pediatrician. My experience has really influenced what I want to do. One day, I might open my very own clinic at Musqueam. Who knows?

But for now, I’m just looking forward to next week’s session with the kids. For some, Work Learn is an opportunity to apply learned skills in a new environment, or a chance to try something new. For me, it's definitely been a bit of both.