5 Questions with Courtney Tizya, Making it Work Research Trainee

Courtney is Research Trainee with the Making it Work Community Based Research Study.

What Sparked your Interest in Working in the HIV or hepatitis C community?

I have always been motivated to work in an advocacy role. Through my experiences with addiction and healing, I understand how harmful stigma can be. I hope I can support the Making It Work team to affect policy change for the benefit of the HIV and hepatitis C community. While this is my first time working with the community directly, I have previously worked in advocacy supporting people who are experiencing the criminal justice system. I really appreciate that PAN staff are committed to social justice.  

What kind of impact do you hope your work has on the “real world”? 

I hope that my work will positively impact even one person. If I can leave a space feeling better than I found it, and build relationships along the way, then I will feel pride in my efforts. I am always working on my listening and communication skills because they are so important to connection. I enjoy the PAN team because everyone is motivated, thoughtful, and easy to talk to. These are qualities I strive for in my own work. 

What’s an exciting thing you are working on right now?

I am currently about to graduate with my Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, and I am hoping to apply to Law School for 2024 after I have completed the LSAT this spring (2023). I will also be completing a postgraduate business certificate starting fall 2023. There are lots of new experiences coming my way and I guess you could say I enjoy studying! 

What are you looking forward to in your work over the next year? 

This is a hard question to answer but I think I am most looking forward to the connections our Making It Work research team will be building with community-based organizations, service users, and service providers. I look forward to community-based work all over so-called British Columbia. I am currently located in Unceded Snuneymuxw territory but will soon visit and work in the Unceded traditional territories of the Lheidli T’enneh, the Unceded traditional territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueum & Squamish and the Straits Salish & Esquimault territories. I also look forward to learning and growing with the Making It Work team. Everyone on our team has a big open-heart and I am grateful for that.  

If you were able to choose, what is the natural talent or superpower you want to be Gifted with and why?

The ability to give LAND BACK so that First Nations could hold sovereignty over their traditional territories- true decolonization 🙂