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Employee Spotlight: Pinky Pascual

One thing that has been a constant, during Pinky’s time at CHV is her drive to provide love and care to the youth who come to CHV. From her first day as a volunteer to her current role as Manager, Program Employee Training and Development, Pinky has learned many valuable things.

The one thing, though, that has stayed tried and true with her throughout the years is that a simple interaction can make an enormous difference in a youth’s life.

Pinky immigrated to Toronto from the Philippines in 1996. In 2010, Pinky sponsored her mom, Lourdes, to immigrate to Canada. Lourdes now resides with Pinky and her husband, Jerry (seen here in the photo). Pinky has been married for 18 wonderful years. Although Pinky has been in Canada for 26 years, she keeps close ties with family back in the Philippines.  

Pinky was kind enough to answer some questions and share a little about herself.

Your full name is Pinky Rosary Pascual. What was the inspiration behind your name?

My mother was inspired by the acclaimed Filipina stage actress, Pinky Amador, and I was born in October, the month of the rosary.

Before working at CHV what were the most unusual or interesting jobs that you’ve had?

Working in customer service at Mario’s Gelati and Save-On Meats, on Hastings.

How did you first learn about CHV?

Through a two-page article in the BC Catholic church newspaper. CHV was looking for a full-time volunteer in their Faith Community* volunteer program. The Faith Community in Vancouver closed after its sixth year.

*Faith Community was Covenant House Vancouver’s full-time volunteer program. It was an opportunity for recent college graduates to come together and serve at one of the Covenant House sites across North America.

What roles have you had during your 22 years at CHV?

I first started as a full-time volunteer with Faith Community, serving the Community Support Services program and the Crisis Program, as well as the Development and Communications department. From there I became a part-time Youth Worker that eventually led to a full-time position. Then, I became a Team Leader for the Crisis Program. That led to a role as Assistant Manager of the Crisis Program, which eventually turned into Manager of that program. I then transitioned into my current role of Manager, Program Training and Development for People and Culture.

If you had to explain what working at CHV is like to a friend or family member what would you say?

I feel at home. I consider my work here as a vocation. I feel that my work is deeply connected to my personal mission in life, which is to serve whenever I am called upon to serve.

What does a day in the life of Pinky look like, at work?

I connect with program staff about scheduling, onboarding, and training, as well as organize and explore internal and external opportunities to enhance training at CHV.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

Program training and development is a new role here. It is constantly evolving.

What’s the career highlight that you’re most proud of?

Being the Crisis Program Manager for many years. I managed the biggest department with the biggest budget allocation. I had the most amazing and resilient Crisis Program team. We went through many major operational and programming changes, including:

  • Converting the second floor of the Pender building into living space to increase the bed capacity from 24 to 54

  • Creating floors for male-identified and female-identified youth

  • Supporting the implementation of mental health services at CHV

  • Developing team leaders who became managers

  • Creating the current schedule template of the Crisis Program that changed five-day work weeks to four, allowing staff to have three-day weekends

  • Moving the female-identified Crisis Program youth to the 1302 Seymour location, in 2019

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

Get a mentor.

If you could switch your job with anyone else within CHV, whose job would you want? Why?

A youth worker. Undeniably. My heart is in youth work. I consider it a privilege to serve our youth. They are amazing human beings that I can learn from about life.

How do you separate your work life from your home life?

I have a few commitments outside of work that kept me revitalized. I am active in church, as well as other community services.  

If you could be a superhero, who would you be, and why?

I wouldn’t be a superhero, but a TV show character instead. I would be Casper, the Friendly Ghost. I feel that then you could do a lot of good deeds, invisibly.

What’s your favorite quote from a TV show/movie/book? Why?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou, poet.

This is something that I try to remember when dealing with people. If I can’t help, at least I don’t add to anyone’s hurt or burden.

What recharges you?

Spending time with family and friends, trying out new restaurants, going out of town, celebrating birthdays with a theme, watching plays and concerts, watching YouTube, and exploring new places.

I’m also famous for my lumpia. When I was in the Crisis Program, I would treat the staff to my lumpia as I love them so dearly. Making lumpia is a labour of love. The process is long and tedious, but so worth it!

Making Lumpia