Shakisha Downey's role has evolved at Halifax Learning. Shakisha has been an integral part of our team since 2017 and now takes on the role of Community Engagement Director. Let's get to know Shakisha (she/her).
Graduating from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology, she is now studying for her Bachelor of Social Work with the goal of completing her Masters in Social Work. Shakisha's pursuit of education in this field of social work was spurred on by her personal experience as a former child in care. This educational opportunity has been a professional and personal development experience for her.
She came on board with us to work with families on financing and delivering science-based programming in our in-person and online clinics and in Halifax Regional Centre for Education schools and community centres. She was attracted to Halifax Learning because of their understanding of illiteracy as a social justice issue. Growing up, education was her anchor in a life of many uncertainties, something she could always be proud to be a part of. Shakisha strongly believes literacy can change the path taken by anyone in life, especially for those who have been marginalized or denied access to opportunities. For her, literacy and knowledge are power, and she wanted to be a part of empowering younger generations.
As the Community Engagement Director for Halifax Learning, she works on creating, organizing, and maintaining community-based literacy programs, workshops, and opportunities in Halifax Regional Municipality with the overall theme of Affirmative Action and advancing social justice for marginalized individuals and communities.
Shakisha finds her work with Halifax Learning to be rewarding for the opportunity she has to be a part of creating and maintaining transformative learning journeys for children and youth who have experienced trauma and/or marginalization.
Her favourite reading material includes books that tell real-life stories about additions, abuse, and other personal struggles. It all started for her with "Go ask Alice, Anonymous" and a number of books by Ellen Hopkins she read in Junior High.
What does she do for fun? She loves to take long drives along the coast to admire the adored ocean views of Nova Scotia. Some of her favourite places to visit are the Cape Breton Highlands and Scots Bay. She also loves to take her Lab-Mastiff out for a good long walk and swim. In fact, what she loves about living in Atlantic Canada is the ocean! In her words, "I'm a sucker for saltwater and rocky or sandy beaches".
As a favourite 'pump up' song, what will you hear her listening to? Well, anything Justin Bieber and her current song of the moment is "Attention" by Omah. But this could change any minute!
Make sure to reach out to Shakisha for assistance with funding, scholarships, for working with HLC and much more!