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  • Writer's pictureKristy Colby-Pyle

The Younger Staff Members of Phelps - An Insider’s Perspective

The staff of Phelps is full of wonderful people, each with a story of their own. We thought it would be interesting to get a look into the younger side of our staff; the insider’s perspective. Since ‘young’ is relative (and everyone is young at heart), our definition of these “youngsters” is that they are in their early to mid-twenties. They are the newer generation of adults working at Phelps. Most of them started working a year or two ago, so they are still relatively new to the experience!! Our “youngsters” consist of Shakina Blackstock Pearce, Noah Bishop, and Makayla Chamberlain.


We asked them a series of basic questions to get an inside scoop into how they are finding the Phelps Helps experience. The first one being: "How did you come across Phelps?"

To this Noah and Makayla answered that they had been previously tutored at Phelps during their time in high school. For Noah this was ten years ago. This makes him one of the first to receive help from Phelps when Phelps first began. This is an exciting thought, like an Olympian passing along the torch. Shakina on the other hand heard about it through the Experiential Learning Office at Bishop’s University. She joined due to “its values and the impact it is making in the lives of the youth in Stanstead.” The new generation of Phelps being previously supported students or joining due to intersecting values is what Phelps is all about. To encourage learning, compassion, and cooperation!


This also lines up with the second question, as we asked "What are your reasons for working for Phelps?"

Makayla summed up their responses with: “I have chosen to work with them because I have always wanted to work with kids in my home town and help them better their future.” Each of the new recruits has this passion to help younger students and support them with accomplishing their educational goal. Whether that is to bring up some low grades, delve into interesting topics, or help them focus on their studies, they are up to the task!


Our third question was pointed towards their academic careers while working at Phelps. Our “youngsters” spoke about the positive benefits of being in school whilst working for Phelps. It helps them build a better connection with primary and secondary students who sometimes marvel at the fact that twenty-something year olds are still in school. It is also due to this that they can understand the pressure and frustration that can come from school, allowing them to better connect with the student they are working with, because they too have homework to do.


This connection between younger and older students also gives the younger ones a kindling of interest in post-secondary studies. This doesn’t necessarily mean college, other options include trade schools and micro-programs.  Our young participants are able to see themselves within the experiences of our young Phelps staff members. By sharing their high school path and the challenges that they overcame to finally be studying at university, their stories create a model for our younger participants.


We at Phelps are committed to continuing the circle of learning by recruiting past participants and contributing to their professional careers. We value their insight and the connections they are able to build with the younger generations of “Phelpsers”.


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