Bev began working at an early age. She started out delivering newspapers and a variety of items door-to-door, then she began tagging along and helping her mother clean houses. Bev went on to work a variety of jobs which included working in a restaurant; attending a convenience store and gas station; planning and preparing meals for a mess hall; and working as a dishwasher and a chef’s helper. Bev quickly learned “that you either had to get an education or work for what you want in life”.
Bev had children at a young age and dropped out of school to raise them. She eventually re-entered the workforce as a janitor, a job she held for over 10 years, until she sustained an injury. “I had a full tear in my arm/shoulder that required surgery and my arm had not healed properly,” she says. “I knew that I could no longer perform daily tasks at work so, I resigned. I was able to collect unemployment insurance until it ran out and eventually had to go back on Social Assistance. It was my Social Assistance worker who suggested that I go to SSILC (new window). My counsellor at SSILC (new window) referred me to Neil Squire Society (new window).”
Bev enrolled in the Employ-Ability Program and the experience “changed my whole perspective of myself.” She attended classes alongside other participants who were in similar scenarios as her. She found the environment to be friendly and comfortable, “which makes it much easier for me to work and learn,” she says. “I am learning to prepare myself to enter the work force to become independent again.”
The Wellness for Work module helped her deal with day to day issues and learn how to overcome barriers. It also helped her to regain her self-confidence and how to accept her disability. Bev found the Career Development module the most helpful. It helped her create “a far more professional looking resume”. The Career Counselling module has helped give her insight and an enhanced ability to choose a career or occupation that would best suit her. Working with computers helped her build on her typing speed and knowledge of Microsoft (new window) and Excel (new window) basics.
“I am once again feeling positive about myself. I now know that I can be independent again. Thank you to all at the Neil Squire Society for helping me see that!”