From participant to coordinator, Brandon “B.J.” Jean credits the City of Ottawa’s recreational programs for putting him on the right path in life.
“I started going to programs at the Greenboro Community Centre when I was eight years old,” he recounts. Quickly discovering his passion for basketball, B.J. enjoyed learning drills in the gym and hanging out with other players at youth events on Friday nights. The community centre was like a second home to him.
He got to know his program instructors and sports coaches well over the years and they became his mentors, both on and off the court. When he was 16, his mentors encouraged him to apply as a youth coordinator. They told him, “You can do this.” Those four words stuck with him, and he decided to apply.
He got the job and realized pretty quickly the positive impact of working for the City.
After his first shift, he was supposed to meet up with some friends. While he was still at work, those friends had an encounter with law enforcement. “If I’d been there with them – if I wasn’t scheduled to work that evening – my life could’ve been on a very different path,” B.J. reflects.
Now, 15 years later, B.J. is the Program Coordinator at the Greenboro Community Centre. He oversees the delivery of programs, coordinates employees, and he also mentors program participants of all ages. Whether you’re an employee or a participant, “it’s about growing confidence and building skills for the outside world,” B.J. shares. He encourages everyone to follow their passions to become leaders, just like he did.
If you’re interested in joining Team Ottawa like B.J. did, you can explore recreation job opportunities at ottawa.ca/recjobs. If you’re looking to apply for a specific position and are unsure of the exact job title, we encourage you to reach out to us on Facebook so we can help you navigate the application process. Be sure to check the page often, as new positions are posted on a regular basis.