VCC Success StoryJanuary 1, 2013
My goal is to change lives
I'm Johnny Perry, part-time student in the community counselling skills program.
About 10 years ago, I was hired as executive chef at Potluck Café Society (also Potluck Café and Catering), a social enterprise designed to help end the cycle of poverty in Vancouver. We provide jobs and nutrition to people who face barriers to traditional employment.
Over the years, it became more than just a cooking job to me. I would often provide support services for staff, many of whom suffer mental illness, struggle with addiction or have a hard time finding housing. I love to cook but I think social work is my second calling in life. That’s why I decided to go back to school to learn the fundamentals of counselling.
Studying in VCC's Aboriginal Gathering Space.
Being an older student, I was anxious about starting over at VCC. But once I got going, it wasn’t as scary as I thought. I have a great support system of colleagues, classmates and instructors who want me to succeed. I also have a close relationship with Aboriginal advisers who have helped with my education plan and offered financial advice.
VCC’s community counselling skills program has been like a personal therapy session. It involves a lot of self-reflection. I faced discrimination and bullying growing up and I think that’s why I’m interested in helping others.
VCC has opened doors to something I’m very passionate about. I can't wait to start a new chapter in my life.
Attend an upcoming information session