Ginny Becker is a change-maker, a lover of a challenge, and a force to be reckoned with. She is the Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Centre based in Kelowna, British Columbia. The centre provides a child-friendly environment focused on supporting those impacted by child abuse and neglect. With help from the centre, frontline agencies are empowered to work together to improve outcomes and build resilience for children, families, and the community. Playing a key role in helping to realize and bring the centre to life, Ginny works toward making her community stronger, safer, and more informed daily.
The moment I knew I wanted to catalyze social change… was around eight years ago when I was driving home from work. I started thinking about how all of the time, passion, and energy I was putting into being excellent at what I was doing wasn’t making a meaningful difference to anyone. I had a good job that paid me well, but I was completely unfulfilled. I wanted to make a difference and not just once a month as a volunteer. I felt a driving need to make a change, to take my workdays and commit them to something bigger than myself. I went home that night and started searching for not-for-profit job postings in my region. Three weeks later, I quit my safe, comfortable job and moved into the nonprofit sector. I have never looked back.
My mission aims to create a positive impact by… reducing the harmful impacts of traditional systems on children and families impacted by child abuse and neglect.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a change leader is… that change rarely happens all at once. Achieving change is about relentless drive and endless perseverance; it is about never giving up. Sometimes it is about identifying the almost microscopic opportunities for change and achieving those one by one. With enough tiny movements, suddenly big change becomes possible.
My proudest accomplishment is… I am a mom of two teenagers, so my absolute proudest accomplishment in life has been in raising kind humans who are bound to do great things in this world.
At work, all of it. I am proud that we are here and proud of the service our team delivers to every single child and family that has attended the CAC. I am proud of the monumental system changes we have been able to achieve and proud that we are working hard to build continued change for our region and beyond.
With all that said, If I had to pick one thing that I am proudest of it is this: I am proud of what our community has stepped up to do through our work. How our donors and supporters have stood by our side day after day, file after file, challenge after challenge, to ensure children impacted by abuse are met with the care and compassion they deserve. Without our supporters, this response doesn’t exist in our community. The donors deserve all the credit; they are the superheroes in this story.
The biggest risk I took that paid off was… leaving behind the job that everyone should want to jump into an unknown future. It felt like the right thing to do, but I never could have known how much it would change my life for the better.
My biggest setback has been… wasn’t a setback really but it certainly created for an interesting start: launching a sizeable not-for-profit, service delivery society on the brink of a global pandemic.
I overcame it by… refusing to see it as a setback!
One of the most important lessons I’ve gained from my experience within the sector is… an understanding of the complex interconnectedness of the whole social services sector. I have witnessed firsthand how the systems that support the most vulnerable are extremely symbiotic. There is no one agency that can hold a family or a community up on their own — it simply is not possible. These services and agencies need one another; when we work together, the strength of that collaboration is incredibly powerful.
I surprise people when I tell them… how much I love coming to work every day. My work is centred around child abuse; it would be easy to see this work as only dark, to focus on the tragedy of it. People ask me all the time how I do it. For me, it is the opposite — this work is full of hope and promise. We have the extraordinary responsibility and the awesome privilege of making a key difference in a child’s journey. We can add strength and support to help hold these children and their families up during a complex time of trauma. This is upstream work that can change the future, one child at a time.
If I had an extra hour in the day, I would use it to… celebrate the wins. It probably sounds silly, but the one difficulty of working in service is that there are few opportunities to stop and take a breath, to look back and reflect on what has been achieved. We work hard at the CAC to recognize the wins, but there will never be enough time. If I had an extra hour, I would spend it celebrating the heroes I work with, reminding them how important what they do is, and showing how they make the world just a little bit better by doing it.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… how much my family and I love edgy rock music! I am a lover of live music and plan more vacations than not around where a concert or festival happens to be unfolding!
The future excites me because… there is so much good to be done. In this field of child advocacy, we are only scratching the surface. There is still so much that can be improved, so many ways we can do better. Children deserve our relentless commitment to achieving change that supports healing and resilience in the most trauma-informed ways possible. I am a utopian believer that it can all be done. There is no finish line to this work; with every achievement, we pave the way toward the next system we can take on, and I am here for all of it!
To keep up with Ginny, connect with her on LinkedIn.