Read the story on the UofR website: https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2019/11-07.html
Read the story on the UofR website: https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2019/11-07.html
Inclusive employment opportunities are ideal for everyone. There are emerging prospective employees who get the opportunity to work as equals alongside amazing employers within our progressive city. However, we are not always as aware of the unsung heroes working tirelessly in the background. The journey these champions embark on can sometimes be long and filled with twists, turns, struggles and triumphs. They don’t wear capes, but they relentlessly work towards what is best for the people closest to them. These champions are the families!
The following is a testimonial from Jarred’s family sharing their perspective on his journey.
A DREAM COME TRUE
“As a family, we have always wished for Jarred to have the opportunity to be employed earning a decent wage. As parents, we pursued inclusive work placements for Jarred, but we were never successful in accessing employment for him. Jarred also wanted to live in his own home. It was a very happy day in March of 2015 when he was able to move into his own condo with a roommate that was supported by Creative Options Regina. Jarred wanted everything that his sister was experiencing.
Jarred completed high school at Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School in 2002, where he had various work experience opportunities through his high school and the Saskatchewan Abilities Council. He was employed at the Cosmopolitan Learning Centre Satellite Program for almost fifteen years and received a small paycheque each month. Through this opportuity, he became skilled in doing various cleaning jobs at businesses in the community, mostly when they were closed. While working at the Satellite Program, he also attended Campus For All at the University of Regina. Jarred really enjoyed attending his University classes and convocated in 2012. It was the highlight of his workweek when he could attend classes as he flourished in the inclusive university community.
Jarred was aware that some of his workmates from the Satellite Program were getting new employment. He would often come home from work and tell us he wanted a new job — his Supervisor would phone me and ask if Jarred was getting new employment because he would tell her he was getting a new job. Many times he would ask to have a day off. We knew Jarred needed a change! Creative Options Regina was also aware that Jarred wanted a change. With our connection to Creative Options Regina and the Campus for All program, we were put in touch with Donna Flaman-Johnson from the 4to40 initiative. Donna found an employment opportunity for Jarred with Ranch Ehrlo Early Learning Centres. The position was to do cleaning in five elementary classrooms for three hours each day and he would stay at one school all week and then rotate to the other schools each week. He would be paid minimum wage, which seemed like a perfect fit. Jarred had to update his resume and go through an interview process (which he was nervous about), and as were we. We did some practice interviews to get him ready. He did very well, and we were so proud of him. Our DREAM CAME TRUE on May 6, 2019, when Jarred started his new job. He completed his three month probation in August, and he is now a very happy young man in his new work environment.
A sincere thank you to Jarred’s family, as well as many others that put their trust in us and their children to live a life they want to live. Without the support of families, the growing inclusiveness in our communities wouldn’t be where it is today.
Ben & Sawyer
Two years ago, we connected with Jamie Carter to talk about her ambitions, dreams, and employment with Regina business, iQ Metrix. This week, we were able to reconnect with Jamie.
Jamie has continued her employment at iQ Metrix for almost three years (since January of 2017) and has developed an exciting rapport with her colleagues and bosses. Her fantastic work ethic and a gift of gab has opened up a universe of opportunities and led her to the University of Regina, where she began her journey in education. In her own words,
“There is no time like the present to get what you want!”
Now years later, following our initial encounter with Jamie, we revisited the discussion about her employment. To jog our memory, we asked her a little bit about the work that iQ Metrix does and she described her current role with the company.
“IQ Metrix is a software programming company. They are different. Everyone there seems to be having so much fun, and they enjoy chatting with me! They’re always busy but seem to be happy! Let me say, though, maybe a little too busy! . . . I’ve gotten more confidence in what I’m doing.”
Full of humour and character, Jamie chuckled at her response. When asked what her favourite part about working was, she replied,
“I like getting my workout with deliveries, and I like joking around with everybody. Thumbs up for iQ Metrix!”
Jamie was excited to add her current role as a University of Regina student to her resume. When we met two years ago, she was adamant about wanting to return to school and pursue more education and today, she can proudly say that she’s been attending classes for three semesters. When asked about the courses she’s taken and currently enrolled in, Jamie explained,
“Two semesters of Cree and this year, one Indigenous studies class so far. I want to take classes that have to do with First Nations. I’m proud of that.”
Where she once explained school as being scary, Jamie now seems filled with motivation and dedication — describing University as:
“…Interesting. My professors are interesting. What I am learning is interesting. I want to be a receptionist someday and work my way up, so I need to go to school for that.”
With such a busy daily life filled with meaningful employment and education, one might think that Jamie would also find time to relax. When asked about her schedule, Jamie replied,
“I’m busy six days a week, man. I don’t have time to relax! But I suppose I like to watch T.V. at home and play with my cat. Just chill- but my [usual] plan for every day is reading. I like to get my brain practice. Not University books always. I just like to wake up my brain after its’ weekend sleep. I need to wake it up and get it back in an education mood. I take it seriously.”
Hanging out in the peripheral of Jamie’s life, we have noticed amazing things about her journey. One quality we appreciate about Jamie is her ability to maintain her unique spark and humorous edge. She loves to laugh and aims to make you smile at every turn. We also appreciate her feeling of accomplishment through the development of her character. Two years ago, Jamie was defining what meaningful employment and education meant to her. Today, reconnecting has illustrated how profoundly she owns her accomplishments. There is a growing hustle in Jamie that inspires us every time we can reunite and celebrate her. This hustle is driven, respectful of its boundaries, and humbling to the untrained eye.
Thank you, Jamie! Thank you, iQ Metrix! Thank you to the University of Regina Campus for All. Today, we acknowledge and celebrate you all for your progressiveness with inclusive employment and building love within our communities.
Lucas Faye, alongside his family and Peco Nagai (Educational Facilitator at Campus For All), are actively defining what inclusive employment means to him, as well as working towards a vision for what it can be for everyone.
Lucas is currently a 4th year student at the University of Regina with assistance from Campus for All — an Inclusive Post-Secondary Education initiative for adults experiencing intellectual disability. Lucas is enrolled in courses that interest him, spreading positivity, love, and a contagious smile to the many people he meets on campus. One thing you might not know about Lucas is that he is also employed as a Teaching Assistant with the Center for Student Accessibility. He is also an employee of Special Olympics Saskatchewan. Students supported by Campus for All attend classes, participate in campus activities, create relationships, prepare for employment, and enjoy the same opportunities as their post-secondary peers.
As we focus on National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we reached out to Lucas, his family, and Peco to share their perspectives on inclusive employment. Together, our conversation focused on how important inclusion has been for Lucas and the culture of Campus for All. Peco shared her profound connection to her position as an immigrant who experienced many barriers to inclusion in a country she now calls home. She began her journey as a Student Advisor for the English as a Second Language program. More than twenty years later, Peco’s involvement [since 2016] in Campus For All has lead to the opportunity to meet, learn from, and grow beside Lucas. Peco identified her hopes for what people can achieve for themselves.
“You must expect that people have their own goals for their lives, and that’s the number one focus, rather than putting our own expectations on students because students need to be respected as the people they are. . . I like to see people become proud of themselves and enjoy their lives fully, regardless of disability. They’re entitled to that.”
Peco also highlighted the importance of finding meaning within the work that we do while encouraging us to understand that finding meaning within a job is completely unique to every single person.
“Every job has meaning because it’s important for the team. If a job provides meaning to you, then it is a meaningful job”
We asked Peco: How can we better promote and encourage inclusive employment?
Peco provided insight on understanding the positive impact that individuality can offer to a workplace and our communities.
“The number one thing is giving people a chance, as well as not to be afraid. These people are not fragile, they are strong, they are adults and they are our equals that come to work. Don’t be overly protective. Work together from your heart, because sometimes we close our kindness and simply saying ‘that’s okay, you don’t have to do this’ is not being kind. Have the mindset that you CAN do it, think about how you can do it. . .Or better yet, let’s think together.”
Both Lucas and Peco reflected on the meaningful work within his role. Shredding important confidential documents, folding T-shirts for the Student Success Centre, and maintaining the integrity of the computers in the office are among some of the key duties he fulfills. Peco also shared an important story regarding Lucas’ character advancement and how it has impacted her as a person.
“We planned a big celebration – a big event welcoming about sixty people and Lucas planned everything from menus, to budget, invitations, the master of ceremonies, the clean-up and setup and everything involved. I was amazed at how much Lucas could do. . . I realized that we need to have higher expectations of these students. I explained, he learned, and he did it. So I had to learn to trust him. . . Lucas surprised so many people. We invited office workers, managers, directors — all were just surprised. This made the Centre of Student Accessibility realize they wanted Lucas as a casual employee – so thank you, Lucas.”
While Peco discussed how much professional development has occurred within Lucas, she also realized that as an employer, trusting in his abilities supported his natural growth. Peco identified how her trust evolved into counting on Lucas in his role.
“Strength will build up more and more, so please don’t count on the first appearance of people. It’s about the opportunity we provide for people. . . Being part of a team, we realize how much we rely on the good work that Lucas provides to the team and the only thing we expect is him being himself. . . four years ago when Lucas came, he was my first student. I never would have thought that Lucas would be here right now.”
A strong support system plays an important role in the success of any student or employee. Lucas’ family worked together with Peco in order to support the successes and failures that Lucas has experienced along the way. As an inclusive employer, a connection with families is a key factor for the development and success of the employee.
“Lucas’ parents trusted me, they did not see me as a person that pushed too much by bringing him to that overworked zone. They also supported me and we communicated very closely about the work we wanted him to do, the challenges and stresses in order to work towards a better outcome next time. . . Family support is very big.”
Lucas added to the conversation by sharing his own perception of the role he fulfils at Campus for All. He identified his achievements in event organization and utilization of computer programs, which landed among his most meaningful duties.
“I make student lists for people’s classes like time, location, e-mail addresses. . . data entry into Excel, Powerpoint and Word”
Given Lucas’ exuberant character, we were interested in asking him a few questions about what makes him so awesome. We asked Lucas what he loves to do in his spare time.
“Music, listening on my iPod: Abba, Barenaked Ladies, all kinds of stuff. If I had a million dollars is my favourite!”
And once asked how much he would share with us if he had a million dollars, Lucas jokingly responded “I’d give a thousand to each of you guys.” We also asked Lucas what his dream job is. If he could be anything in the world, what would he be?
“I’d like to be a bus driver, the city bus. . .I usually take the bus. . .I’ve helped Robbie, Taylor and Amelia too. I can do that, I can show people how to ride the bus”
When posed with the question of how he likes to spend his hard earned money, Lucas stated:
“I usually save it, I’m not much of a spender. I save up for games and eventually would save up to go to Los Angeles to go on Disney rides.”
We also asked Lucas if he would recommend that people become part of Campus for All.
“I recommend people work for Campus for All. I enjoy working here.”
Allen, Lucas’ father, shared the family’s insight on how opportunity has opened up for his son. The inclusiveness they have experienced together has largely shaped the man Lucas is.
“Now he has even gained employment right in the University to help him get further trained for his employment and life ahead. This is all so important. He has just started this job, but I know that they will be so inclusive and open to him. So, as you can see, Lucas has been very fortunate to have had great opportunities over the past.”
Allen expressed the family’s deep gratitude for the roles that so many have had in Lucas’ life over the years. He also shared his perception of Campus for All and the message it sends for a more inclusive society.
“Not only does it give a chance for a much better life for students with better job opportunities, self-sufficiency and a more blossoming interest in life and education. It also helps regular students learn to accept, understand and integrate those with an intellectual disability in their own lives. I hope and pray that this program can always continue and expand so much further and help so many more people.”
Lucas, thank you for being YOU. You are defining what employment truly means for you. You actively show us what opportunity, trust and empowerment can offer for inclusiveness within our communities. Way to go, Lucas!
Meet Mitchell Anderson.
Have you ever worked on a project that you’re so proud of you want to share it with everyone? Mitchell has! In fact, ever since the travel training program began he has been thinking about and working on ways to help lift it to new heights. In his own words Mitchell stated, “This program is for everyone. We could all use it. It’s great for the environment and it helps people believe in themselves and their abilities.”
Mitchell’s involvement in this collaborative initiative (Campus for All, COR and City of Regina) as a travel trainer has been inspiring people of all ages and abilities to strive for greater independence. When asked what he has enjoyed most about the program he stated that, “after doing it for the past few months, it’s been great to learn from people and hear about other people’s lives and experiences with using the bus. It’s also been pretty neat learning about how to adapt my language to help others understand and learn about how the bus helps people in wheelchairs. It would be great to learn about how the graduates are doing; what they liked and what they struggle with.”
Being well spoken and accommodating is only one of the many talents this trainer possesses. He manages to hold down a second job with the Conexus Arts Centre in the evenings and is an active idea-man. He enjoys science music and one day would like to write his own book. Eventually his goal is to become a teacher’s assistant. He is always on the lookout for new ways to promote the travel training program to new audiences and is never happy with ‘just because.’
Some of the feedback Mitchell has been getting from the project after the first nine months into its pilot year has been very positive. He said that, “some of the people have been telling me that they like the fact that they can go out and do it on their own. This was inspiring to hear.” He went on to explain, “If people only knew how easy it was to get around, public transit would be used by everyone.”
Looking back on the last nine months it’s hard to imagine this program being as successful without the hard work of Mitchell. He is extremely humble when it comes to his strengths but when asked to elaborate on what his future holds he said, “Well something that people don’t know about me is that I like to travel. I like to talk about my trip to Vienna, Austria and Paris, France. Someday I’d like to go back; maybe even with my girlfriend!
Thank you Mitchell for teaching Regina’s finest about the program. It takes strong advocates like you to truly bring these things to life!
For more information, visit: www.4to40.ca
Director of Storytelling
Dylan Morin is an extremely hard working and dedicated citizen in the Regina community. His days are filled with student life, working part time for Dutch Industries, and volunteering for one of the countless clubs he is a part of. He makes himself available whenever he is needed and never shies away from a challenge. Dylan is everywhere.
Dylan is dedicated to his studies at the University of Regina. He is currently in his 4th and final year of the Campus For All and plans to graduate in the spring of 2018. When asked what his favorite part of being in school was, Dylan was quick to reply, “Meeting new people!” He also mentioned that once he graduates he really wants to continue his studies at the U of R auditing classes, furthering his education and broadening his scope of knowledge. In his own words, “There is so much information out there.”
At Dutch Industries, Dylan has developed a strong relationship with a family run business that is designed to “bring quality to its customers for generations.” It is this mantra and his personal connection to his boss Greg that keeps Dylan passionate about his work. When asked what he does at Dutch Industries, Dylan said proudly, “quality control and shipping. I package bolts for farming equipment across North America (Canada and the US) as well as the UK and then prepare them for shipping.”
Another reason why Dylan enjoys his work at Dutch is because “they are great at helping [him] balance his time with what is important and the things he loves to do.” Dylan has been an amazing advocate for Friendship Club, Best Buddies, book club, Special Olympics bowling as well as track, and the Wind On My Wings Sailing Club to name a few. Being involved in his community and taking part in special events around Regina is something Dylan truly enjoys. In getting to know Dylan over the past couple years I have learned that his passion for serving others is unmatched. He is a fantastic public speaker and enjoys pounding the pavement looking to connect people and organizations, alike.
Finally I asked Dylan what his dreams were once he graduated from the University. Dylan replied without hesitation, “I make a good pay cheque already. I plan to keep working and saving. I will probably take some more classes but I don’t think much will change.” To conclude our interview I asked Dylan what his dream job would be if given the choice to do anything in the world to which he replied, “I would love to be a flight attendant for WestJet. I think it would be amazing to fly from Chicago to LA or even Vancouver again!” Dylan, with your passion and dedication to doing a thorough job, the sky is the limit.
Thank you for modelling passion and dedication, Dylan! We could all learn something from you.
Community Education and Outreach
Austin is an example for us all to follow. Austin has set a goal, worked hard to learn the skills, spent the time mastering his skills and finally achieved his goal through persistence. He never once slipped up and was always prepared to try again when a challenge arose. Austin was not afraid to ask for help when he needed it and was always ready to help others with their challenges. When you put your time and effort into a goal, anything is possible!
Austin has been passionate about recycling for as long as he can remember. In his spare time he cleans up his neighborhood, and is always looking for ways to help out the environment. If there is a will there is a way, and Austin’s will is what pushes him to research all the different ways to reduce waste and maintain a healthy planet! That is why a job in the recycling field at Sarcan could not be better suited for him.
What started as a self-directed three month work term for his high school work experience class, turned into near full-time paid employment for the summer months. He was 16 when he set his sights on future employment with Sarcan and he is now 18 years of age still passionate and proud about this role.
Austin and his supports have started to notice a change in his self-confidence. His numeracy skills and ability to count and understand money has also improved and he has no problem reading a schedule or earning his own steady paycheck. Much of this success can be attributed to his job at Sarcan and because of this success his independence has also increased. He recognizes that he can set goals for himself and can succeed in attaining those goals. With this new heightened self-awareness and his independence and confidence levels elevating it is my hope that new and exciting opportunities will continue to present themselves to him.
In addition to being a great employee, Austin is learning to be a humbly responsible young man. To be fair, at 18 one doesn’t have a lot of expenses but he manages to save most of his earnings every two weeks. “It’s nice to have money. Especially when I want to buy something big.” He does however splurge with twenty dollars on pay day to celebrate his hard work. At such a young age it is rare to find this level of dedication! Austin’s next chapter in life is sure to be bright.
Community Education and Outreach
Jaime Carter is a mover and a shaker in the employment world. Her fantastic work ethic and gift of the gab has opened up a universe of opportunities and leaves those influenced in her wake astounded and inspired! Jamie’s an inspirational lifelong learner who understands the importance of education but also knows that you can’t have a clear view of where you’re going without recognizing where you have been.
Jaime has been working at iQ Metrix since January of 2017 and has enjoyed every minute of it. What started as stocking fridges and doing odd cleaning jobs within the organization has turned into some part time work behind the front desk! Now Jaime greets people, signs for packages and is appreciated as ‘part of the team and like she is part of the family.’
Her teammates have also recognized her talents. As her teammate at iQ Metrix puts it, ‘she is always happy and working hard!’
Jaime has also begun a training program that, if successful, would have her training people in and around the City of Regina to safely ride public transit. It is an initiative started by the city to help promote public transit to Canadian newcomers, seniors, and anyone else in need of a helping hand while riding the bus. Jaime has expressed her excitement with this new initiative by simply stating, ‘I’m excited! I love helping people and I know a lot about busses. Regina is going to be my home base and want to help keep it as safe as possible.’ It sounds like another perfect fit!
In addition to having an outstanding work ethic Jaime is also passionate about family, giving and caring for others, as well as maintaining a home she can be proud of. When asked what she does with all the money she makes she replied, ‘I like to buy gifts for my friends. Like cake! I also buy things for my cat and for my place, like a new coffee table and two end tables. [I am] proud of my living room.’
Jaime is also quite interested in visiting home more frequently. She would eventually like to be able to save enough money to visit home a couple times a year and get out to the beach more often. When asked about her home she stated that, ‘I miss going to the lake near Moosomin First Nation as well as Saulteaux First Nation called Acoshan Lake. I think about my family trips there and remember the sand on my feet.’
When asked what was next for Jaime Carter she replied, ‘I’m going back to school. Haven’t been in school for over a decade! I want to become an Administrative Assistant-Office Communicator. I would love to work in an office because it seems fun and full of positive energy!’ Jaime starts at the University of Regina this fall in the Campus for All program and is very excited at the prospect of furthering her education.
With Jaime’s ambition and selfless passion to do great things for others she is an asset to whatever project she chooses to become a part of. When you mix in her playful sense of humour and love for making a difference, the qualities of a great friend present themselves and completes the circle for a fantastic team.
Community Education and Outreach
Ted is always on the go! Whether taking an evening to race around town on his bike, or working as a cleaner and detailer for cars and trucks at Morsky; Ted is always on the move. His attention to detail helps make him an extremely gifted artist and his resourceful nature rivals that of Macguiver. In the first couple minutes of getting to know him I learned that Ted is playful and loves to joke around which makes him a good friend and well-rounded teammate.
When asked what his favorite part of working at Morsky is, Ted confidently stated, “saving money for things and [his] boss. I really like to have money for things I want.” Ted is a cleaner and detailer at Morsky and loves being part of the team. “Everyone I work with is really nice to me and when I do a good job, they hook me up with a bonus.” Not a bad gig if I do say so myself.
When the clock strikes 4 pm, Ted’s day isn’t finished. In his spare time he likes to tinker with new projects and fix broken treasures. If he can’t fix and sell it, he finds a way to repurpose it. One of Ted’s most recent projects is a mount for his iPod which fastens to the frame of his new bike. Now he can listen to tunes while he rips around town.
Looking around Ted’s home it is easy to see that Ted is passionate about creating. When he is not fixing up his ride he can be found drawing video game characters, painting fresh canvasses in his art class, and playing through games on his Xbox. One of Ted’s favorite games is Minecraft; a game where one builds and plays characters of their own design in a world which is also designed by the game player.
Finally, I asked Ted about his dream job. “I love cars,” he beamed. “I’d like to work with Monster trucks or clean Nascars. Maybe a mechanic.” It sounds like any pit crew would be lucky to have your creative vision and playful personality. Thanks Ted!
Community Education and Outreach
The University of Regina hosted a Press Conference on October 28th, 2016 in celebration of 4to40 and the National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The event was attended by over 100 employers, community leaders, partners and 4to40 job seekers.
We are proud to have Dr. Vianne Timmons, President of the University of Regina, Michael Hoffart, President & CEO of Farm Credit Canada, and Hon. Laura Ross, MLA for Regina Rochdale, support our efforts to increase employment opportunities for all those we serve.
You are true champions of inclusion!
Link to the UofR Article: Celebrating Campus For All
Link to CKRM Article: University of Regina celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month
For more information on Inclusive Employment, visit: www.4to40.ca