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A Journey Through Inclusive Employment

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!

 

Regina man with intellectual disability fulfills lifelong dream of working for fire department

Regina man with intellectual disability fulfills lifelong dream of working for fire department

It hasn’t been easy for Peter Rhodes to finally arrive at his dream job, following in the footsteps of his father who used to be a firefighter.

As a young child, a blast shook Peter Rhodes awake one night.

A furnace explosion caused the family’s house to catch fire while Rhodes and his sister were inside.

“I was scared,” he recalled in a recent interview. “I had no clothes on, nothing like that. I got seriously burned.”

Thanks to their neighbours who called for help, Rhodes and his sister were rescued by firefighters.

Now 47 year old, Rhodes — who lives with an intellectual disability — recalls that moment as one of the things that inspired his dream of working in fire services, a dream that has finally come true.

“I felt like giving up, but I didn’t,” said Rhodes from Regina Fire & Protective Services Fire Station No. 2 where he is the first employee hired with an intellectual disability.

It hasn’t been easy for Rhodes to finally arrive at his dream job, following in the footsteps of his father who was a firefighter.

Originally from B.C., his father died when Rhodes was three years old. His mother later died of lung cancer, and Rhodes bounced around in foster care before landing in Saskatoon and eventually Regina.

 

Regina Fire & Protective Services (RFRS) member Barry Szeles, from left, and Austin Bates work with 4to40 employee Peter Rhodes, who has an intellectual disability, at Fire Hall 2 in Regina.

For the past 10 years, he has been a client of Creative Options Regina (COR) — a non-profit organization that develops personalized support services for people with disabilities.

He has worked a few jobs around the city thanks to a program jointly operated between COR and the University of Regina’s Campus for All called 4to40, which connects people experiencing disabilities with forward-thinking employers.

But none compare to this one.

“He was so excited, even after … he went down to the fire hall for the first time,” said Donna Flaman Johnson, an inclusive employment broker for 4to40. “He left that day on top of the world.”

Rhodes works two, three-hour shifts a week helping his platoon with daily chores and inventory checks.

“Fire service is about helping people and when you hear Peter’s story, you can’t help but want to help him fulfill his dream,” said Kevin Digney, assistant chief of operations.

Starting off slow, they’ve introduced Rhodes to one platoon at station No. 2. Together, they do daily chores like sweeping, mopping, washing the trucks and hoses and more. He always has a job coach with him for guidance and so he’s not alone in the station if the platoon has to go out on a call.

His favourite part, he said, is washing tools.

Rhodes worked his third shift on Wednesday, but he has already blended into the team like he’d been there all along, sipping coffee in the kitchen and going about his tasks with quiet confidence. Everyone appeared at ease, despite how new the situation was for all of them.

4to40 employee Peter Rhodes, fourth from left, who has an intellectual disability, stands with his job coach Connor Brown, fifth from left, and the day crew at Fire Hall 2 in Regina. TROY FLEECE / Regina Leader-Post

 

4to40 employee Peter Rhodes, who has an intellectual disability, works with Regina Fire & Protective Services Austin Bates at Fire Hall 2 in Regina.

He was quiet and a little shy, but broke into a hearty laugh after Digney joked about photoshopping a fellow firefighter’s lush hair onto his balding head in any photos going to press.

“I was happy,” said Rhodes of when he found out he’d got the job. “I know I can do it.”

But not everyone felt the same way. Rhodes’ roommate told him he couldn’t do it, called him a coward.

“I told him I’m … no coward,” said Rhodes, whose very presence in the station proved his old roommate wrong.

He’s doing well, said Digney, and it’s clear that the station is happy to have him as they guide him through his duties with respect and compassion.

“What they told me when I was down at the fire hall was that working for the fire department is like being part of a family,” said Flaman Johnson in an interview.

“Here they are basically bringing Peter in like he’s one of them — to support him, to encourage him, to give him new experiences and (get him to) try new things, to grow,” she added. “That’s exactly what family is all about.”

Flaman Johnson, who’s been with 4to40 since last fall, met Rhodes in early spring and has interviewed him extensively about the things he likes to do so that his work with the fire department would be meaningful, an important part of any job, for any person.

She said she loved him from the moment she met him and saw immediately the love others had for him too.

“Everybody just wanted this to work out for Peter because they know this has literally been his dream for years,” said Flaman Johnson. “I just find it so fulfilling and so inspiring when I see organizations open themselves up to this type of work arrangement.”

Seeing Rhodes in the fire station, you can tell he’s just proud to be there, she said.

And it’s a step in the right direction, said Digney, in the city’s commitment to having a diverse and inclusive workshop.

“It’s new,” said Digney. “The fire service is traditional, a lot of culture and it’s time that we have a new tradition.

“He’s been looked after very well from the guys at the station here and as we move him out to the different platoons and the different stations I have no doubt he’ll be embraced and treated as one of our own.”

Rhodes’ message to those who haven’t found their way to their own dream job yet?

“It’s not easy to come here at all,” he said. “It takes time.”

But he didn’t give up.

4to40 employee Peter Rhodes, left, who has an intellectual disability, with his job coach Connor Brown at Fire Hall 2 in Regina.

jackerman@postmedia.com

View Full Article Here.

 

4to40 Selected as Recipient of India Night 2019

Campus For All

After graduation from high school, students with intellectual disabilities have very few opportunities to further their education.  As a result, these young adults often find themselves ill-equipped for the workplace and lacking the skills that might otherwise provide important opportunities in life – such as employment.    The reality is that 80% of people who have an intellectual disability are jobless and heavily reliant on government support services.

The good news is that together we can turn this number around!  University is a viable and beneficial means to improve employment outcomes, job quality and income for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  In fact, graduates of inclusive post-secondary initiatives have an employment rate of nearly 80% — but they need support to get there.  Without support to find and maintain employment, the lives of inclusive post-secondary alumni are – upon completion of their studies — in danger of stagnation personally, educationally and workwise.  They are very much at risk of ending up segregated in our community.

As it foundational mandate, Campus For All: Inclusive Post-Secondary Education encompasses three pillars:  academics, social networking and employment. To address the employment pillar, Campus For All partnered with Creative Options Regina to create an employment project entitled 4to40.

 

4to40 Project

4to40 delivers employment services to students and individuals who experience both an intellectual disability and related barriers to entering the workforce.  These individuals want to work and contribute to our community.  4to40 receives no government funding and relies heavily on donations and fundraising.

4to40 is a unique grassroots project connecting people experiencing disability with employers who embrace a flexible 4 to 40 hour work week.  The overall purpose of 4to40 is to achieve social and economic inclusion.  4to40 works with one person at a time by developing customized employment opportunities that enable individuals experiencing disability and other related barriers to make a contribution to the community.    Behind every job created there is a story like this one written by a mother about her daughter, an alum of the University of Regina who was supported by Campus For All:

 

On Nicole’s full resume from Grade 10, she has 5 years of employability training,
2-1/2 years of volunteering and 15 job experience placements.  Nicole has been doing something every year since grade 10 to somehow get a job – except November
2010 to September 2011 when after doing another employability training program
with big promises and no follow through, I hit a wall and gave up.  She enrolled in Campus For All and the partnership with COR in 4to40 led to a job offer from Farm Credit Canada (her first long-term paying job at the age of 29).  So, needless to say,
to everyone involved (it takes a village).  How could I ever express how thankful
I am other than  . .  . THANK YOU VERY MUCH (with tears of joy).

 

Not only does 4to40 make a difference in individual lives, it generates macro level impacts for the betterment of our community.   4to40 is changing the culture around employment.  For example, many organizations in Regina are developing and implementing diversity strategies, but they don’t know where to start, how to implement, or find a pool of available employees.

4to40 provides information and support to employers – essentially creating inclusion within diversity. When individuals experiencing intellectual disabilities are hired typical understandings of disability are disrupted and new possibilities for belonging and contributing are uncovered.

We invite you to join us on September 14, 2019 at India Night:

AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

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.”

AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

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!

 

Watch Mitchell on AMI tv: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

For more information, visit: www.4to40.ca

 

Ben Morris,

Director of Storytelling

 

Canadian Transit at the Forefront of Equitable Mobility

National AccessAbility Week is an important annual event that celebrates the progress we have made as a society to facilitate accessibility and promote inclusion throughout our communities and workplaces. This year, National AccessAbility Week took place from May 27 to June 2, marking a time to recognize the milestones that Canadian individuals, communities, and workplaces have undertaken in order to “actively remove barriers and give Canadians of all abilities a better chance to succeed,” as stated on the Government of Canada. “We need to change the way we think, talk and act about barriers to participation and accessibility, and we need to do it right from the start, not as an afterthought. An inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed in their workplaces and communities.”

York Region Transit’s manager of Mobility Plus, Sharon Doyle, puts is as such: “Our passengers always come first, and we are built on a foundation of inclusivity. Everyone should have opportunity for independent and spontaneous travel, no matter their circumstances. When people have access to transportation, individuals and communities thrive.”

At CUTA, our mission is to inspire and influence the evolution of integrated urban mobility, and that includes equal access to mobility for people with disabilities. For this reason, we have chosen to highlight three outstanding projects with a focus on accessibility from our transit members, showcasing excellence and innovation in making Canadian urban mobility more equitable and available to all.

Regina Transit: Travel Training Program

Regina Transit is actively supporting people who experience disabilities by offering a program that shows participants how to use fixed-route transit service through its new travel training program. Paratransit typically does not allow people to travel with the utmost flexibility and spontaneity because trips must be booked in advance, and there are specific trip times to adhere to.

Using fixed-route transit enables people currently using paratransit to have another travel option. Regina’s program is unique because it is a partnership between the City of Regina, Creative Options Regina (a community-based organization supporting people experiencing disabilities), and the University of Regina’s 4to40 program.

People experiencing disabilities are hired to deliver the training creating meaningful employment.  For more information go to the 4to40.ca website and click on the travel training tab.

 

View the Full article here: http://cutaactu.ca/en/blog-posts/canadian-transit-forefront-equitable-mobility

 

Regina Leader-Post: ‘Champions of transit’: Reginans with disabilities will teach peers to ride the bus

‘Champions of transit’: Reginans with disabilities will teach peers to ride the bus

Dylan Morin will be one of four transit trainers who hope to help the city ease pressure on the Regina Paratransit system by teaching new skills.

Dylan Morin can get almost anywhere in Regina.

“I know the city like the back of my hand,” he said. “I know how to get to a lot of the stops.”

He’s been riding the city bus since high school, despite the challenges of an intellectual disability. On Thursday, he took the 18 from the University of Regina. Once the doors shut and the driver pulled away, Morin spoke in a soft, reassuring tone. Don’t be nervous, he offered, you’re not alone.

“There’s nothing to it,” he said. “As much as you need me, I’ll be there for you.”

Morin was showing how he teaches other people with disabilities how to ride the bus. He’ll be one of four transit trainers hired through a partnership between the city and Creative Options Regina, which are preparing to roll out a transit trainer pilot program this spring

“We’re the only transit system in Canada using this particular approach,” said Regina’s paratransit and accessibility manager, Lynette Griffin. “We’re utilizing people with disabilities, particularly people with intellectual disabilities, to do the training.”

Dylan Morin, pictured here riding a Regina city transit bus in Regina. Morin is one of the transit trainers with intellectual disabilities who will soon be helping their peers learn to ride the bus. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

She said the program will help Regina Paratransit users make the jump to conventional transit. It will also create paid employment for the trainers. The goal is to open up more flexible transit choices, all while saving the city money in the long run.

“If we can move some trips off, then we’ll have capacity in Paratransit to continue to meet our growing demand,” she said. “It will help Paratransit to manage our budget… for every trip on conventional transit, it’s a $20 saving.”

Those who learn to use buses won’t be barred from Paratransit. Griffin said she wants to avoid a “segregated system.” But she called conventional transit “a great second option” that can promote empowerment.

“It will give them the opportunity to travel through the community without having to book trips in advance,” she said. “You can come and go wherever you want, so there’s much more independence and flexibility.”

Creative Options Regina supports people with intellectual disabilities, and its CEO, Michael Lavis, is convinced that most of his clients would thrive on the bus. For many, only one thing stands in the way: Fear.

“People are nervous because they don’t know,” he said. “Sometimes people haven’t really been afforded the opportunity to learn.”

That’s why his staff looked for trainers like Morin, outgoing people with extensive bus-riding experience. They’re all part of the University of Regina’s Campus for All program. Lavis called them “champions of transit.”

“They know that transit system inside and out,” he said. “No fears, no apprehensions. They know where to go.”

Dylan Morin is pictured here on the left riding a Regina Transit bus and describing to Leader-Post reporter Arthur White-Crummey the process he will soon be using to help people with intellectual disabilities learn to ride the bus. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

Morin plans to use a staged process that will go from hands-on to hands-off as his students get the hang of the bus.

“It’s about getting individuals outside of their comfort zone,” he said.

At first, he’ll meet them at their home, walk them to the bus stop, show them how to read a transit map. He’ll sit right beside them as they look out for their stop. If all goes well, the next trip might be different.

“I wouldn’t sit with you on the bus like I did,” he explained. “I would give you a landmark to pull the bell at.”

By the end, Morin would be on standby, taking check-ins over the phone.

The program’s contract is still being finalized. But Lavis and Griffin are confident it will be up and running this spring. Griffin said all Paratransit users will be welcome to make use of the training, whether they have cognitive or mobility challenges.

Morin and his colleagues will be there to show them the way.

“They’re actually really excited about it and want to be champions for teaching others,” said Lavis. “That’s part of the magic.”

awhite-crummey@postmedia.com

 

Link to the Regina Leader-Post Article.

Learn more about 4to40.

Dylan Morin is an extremely hard working and dedicated citizen in the Regina community.

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.”

His days are filled with student life, working part time for Dutch Industries

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.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

“It’s nice to have money. Especially when I want to buy something big.”

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.

passionate about recycling

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.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

“I would love to work in an office because it seems fun and full of positive energy!”

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.

iQmetrix-logoJaime 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.’

I’m going back to school. Haven’t been in school for over a decade

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.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

“I love cars,” he beamed. “I’d like to work with Monster trucks or clean Nascars. Maybe a mechanic.”

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

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!

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach