Our Stories: Sterling Andrews

Sterling Andrews began his career with ASLS in 2012, being hired on as a Community Support Worker. In total, he has had four official titles with the organization; Residential CSW, Behavioural Assistant CSW, Residential and ILS Program Manager and Director of Programs.

Sterling made the move to Alberta from Newfoundland with his partner just ten days after graduating from the College of the North Atlantic on June 15, 2012.

Along with his current role at ASLS, Sterling is also a Village of Berwyn Councilor, an ACDS Government Relations Committee representative and most importantly, father to a recently adopted young boy.

Why do you stay with ASLS?

“I really enjoy working for an organization that is able to be flexible in the way we do things. It’s not rigid that if we see that something that could change to improve the quality of life for our Individuals for support or for our staff in their workplace that the organization can be flexible and do that. I do see at the end of the day how ASLS is a person-centred organization, sometimes that means we have to make hard decisions of graduating Individuals out of service or transition them to another service provider, but at the end of the day, I believe the people here in northwest Alberta who have developmental disabilities, who are the most vulnerable and have the least services offered to them are the ones ASLS are willing to say we are going to make this work, we are going to put the effort into it so they have a good quality of life and I so appreciate that.”

Sterling feels his passion to support individuals and commitment to this organization led him to his management position and he will always fight for the underdog and ensure their voices are heard.

What would you say to the founding families and community members if they were here today?

“What they tried to do 50 years ago obviously worked and made an impact on the region and the people in the region. Here we are 50 years later we are still providing quality services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. Not only have we grown with numbers and dollars over the years, I find ASLS stays one step ahead of where the Industry is, in regard to being progressive and advocating for the rights of individuals. I think that is because of the volunteers years ago that really put in the effort to establish that type of organization and for all those who follow.”

Sterling is a proud member of the LGBTQ community and has always felt included, respected and as valued as anyone else in the community. “I feel so happy with life, that I’ve been able to come here to Northern Alberta and be able to fit into the community despite any of those different diversities I might have in comparison to my neighbour on one side or my coworker on the other.”

In his spare time, Sterling enjoys spending time with his family, camping and researching his family history and traditions passed on through the generations through his English, Inuit and Irish ancestors.