Jamaican child inspired career of ‘looking after people’
Monday August 15, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
Before he moved to Canada more than 30 years ago, John Dunlop worked at an accountant’s office in Jamaica, just like his father before him. But a poor 12-year-old girl who asked for some of his lunch one day inspired him to find a career helping people instead of working behind a desk.
Born and raised in Jamaica, John says he always knew he wanted to work with people, but that young girl finally pushed him closer to the career he’s now enjoyed for 28 years.
“It was then that I realized that I’m in the wrong field, that accounting was not for me. I knew it was looking after people,” says John.
He gave her some of his lunch, but it didn’t end there.
“I told the girl to come the next morning and I would pay for her lunch. She came in and had lunch with me, and all of my coworkers got involved, and we bought her clothes and dresses and such,” says John.
“It was a great feeling and I got the support of my coworkers and management from the company and we put money towards the children who were disadvantaged. It gave me a great thrill and a wonderful feeling to help that girl.”
When John arrived in Canada in 1981 he went to Douglas College to begin his new life in a new field as an adult care worker.
To earn his certificate from Douglas College he went through many practicums with different organizations, including the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, where he says he knew he saw something special.
“I saw they were more empathetic towards the individuals, they showed a lot of empathy and support, whereas I did not see that with other associations I’d done my practicums with,” says John.
“I worked with different associations and I did a lot of practicums and I did three with the Burnaby Association and I knew then and there that of all the places that I worked with as a practicum student, the Burnaby Association was the one that appealed to me the most.”
He’s now worked with BACI for 21 years.
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