Our Staff

Michael Volker

Executive Director

Clemencia Gomez

Community Developer

Ryan Natividad

Administration Assistant

Monica Murguia

Senior Manager of Operations

Dilpreet Thiara

Seniors Services Coordinator

Board of Directors

Hello, my name is Jane Belanger. I have lived in Vancouver since 1986, originally hailing from inner city, Winnipeg, Manitoba. -Education: I was a single parent of 2 children when I entered university as a Mature student in Arts. I was able to graduate with B Ed from the U of M earning the University Gold Medal in Education. I then continued studying, completing a pre-Masters year in Multicultural Education with a focus in Indigenous Education at U of Manitoba. I later obtained a Masters in Liberal Arts, SFU. I hold certificates qualifying me to teach Levels 1 to 3 of FIE, a cognitive development program. I also contributed to Curriculum development in Aides Education for First Nations Communities, Reel to Reel Youth Film Festival and was a field tester for Provincial Senior Secondary Curricula based on First Nations History and Literature.

Career: Since 1980, first in Winnipeg, then for 25 years in Vancouver, I taught in Inner-city schools, focusing on Indigenous Education. In Vancouver, I taught in a small Alternative school located in the Downtown East Side at First United Church. The focus of this alternate program was to provide educational opportunities for First Nations Youth living or frequenting the Downtown East side. The goal was to stabilize their lives and provide the supports which would lead to reintegration back into school. In order to be an effective teacher I learned education was about much more than the schooling. Before students could progress with grade level curricula, the school had to address myriad complex issues such as remedial education, learning disabilities, poverty, child prostitution, neglect, drug abuse, criminal entanglement, assaults, perpetual grief and trauma, the legacy of residential schools, overt and institutional racism, and so on. In order to serve the students and help them achieve success and thereby, hope, I had to learn: about Cultural History and Education, how to Advocate for students, to be a foster parent, a sports and marathon coach, to do video production, to organize a culturally bases camping trips, and trips to Prince George and as far as New Zealand. In essence, our staff became dream makers.

I am proud to say that after consistent effort, what started out as a program for Street entrenched youth became a High School Graduation program. Many of these kids were the first in their families to “walk the stage”. After 25 years I retired from VSB in 2011. Volunteerism: During my working years and aside from the in school activism, I volunteered for local Political campaigns, I was union rep for the Teachers Union, and member of the Inti Co-op Board and one term as President Retired life I am primarily a volunteer uke teacher of seniors. Since first teaching ukulele at 411 in 2018 or 2019, I have continued to teach at centres where there was a demand for such a program.

With the support of 411, I was able to continue the ukulele program on Zoom and to hold gatherings outside. The support of 411 also helped me develop a ukulele and social program for a group of visually impaired Seniors. At 411 1 volunteered at the Fall Fair and a research project. With the support of 411 1 am currently compiling stories, many from a workshop series funded by 411 about the hugely diverse journeys folks have taken on their road to becoming Senior citizens. I have also participated in 411 discussions and meetings regarding issues such as the digital divide, housing, financial security, lack governmental awareness, consideration and support of Seniors issues. I am aware of the challenges facing seniors and 411. I would welcome the opportunity to support the mandate of 411. Whether through increasing membership, program development, community partnerships, making sandwiches…l consider it an honour to make whatever contribution I can to help relieve stresses and strains threatening Seniors in our community today and in the future.


411 Seniors Centre Society

3502 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4C5

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