In April of 2014, Mouhamed attended the Neil Squire Society’s annual Job Fair at the University of Regina (new window), where he spoke with one of the Society’s case managers about his struggles in finding employment. He was ready and able to work, as well as persistent in his efforts, yet he was having a very difficult time finding a job. Mouhamed had previously attended the Society’s Employ-Ability Program.
Originally from Koungheul (new window), Senegal (new window), Mouhamed and his family moved to Prince Albert (new window), Saskatchewan (new window) in 2002. The move was a difficult one for the teenager, but after a few months he began to adapt to a new Canadian lifestyle. After graduating from high school, he was diagnosed with lymphoma (new window) and doctors discovered a tumour (new window) in his spinal cord which left him paralyzed (new window) for five years. Through therapy, hard work and prayers, he regained the use of his hands and was able to get around in a wheel chair. When he left the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre (new window), doctors told him he would not be able to walk. Today, he prefers getting around on crutches instead of a wheel chair, and he can stand without a cane or crutches. Mouhamed says that he works out every day at the gym to strengthen his muscles as he plans to walk one day.
Mouhamed plays wheel chair basketball, is fluent in both French and English, and is currently running his own business; a clothing line named Handi-Able (new window). His company’s mission is to create a specific brand that lets people know, that “no matter what disabilities we have, or what we’re going through, we don’t let it define us”. Through the Neil Squire Society’s Working Together Program, his Job Developer, Mike Greensides, was able to help secure Mouhamed employment at the 306 Hip Hop Sk8 Shop (new window), where he’s learning first-hand about business and entrepreneurial processes. “Before I started working with the Neil Squire Society it was almost impossible for me to find a job,” says Mouhamed.
Mouhamed works full-time at the Skate Shop, as well as managing Handi-Able. Mouhamed “feels blessed” for the help he received from the Neil Squire Society. “After I started working with the Neil Squire Society I started to feel more confident about the future, they opened so many doors for me and indirectly helped me start my clothing line. If it wasn’t for them helping me find a job, I would have never been able to find a job and save the money needed to start my brand, Handi-Able,” says Mouhamed. “The Neil Squire Society changed my life; I am very grateful for the help they gave me, which is why I will donate part of the proceeds made from Handi-Able to them so they can keep helping other people with disabilities to follow their dreams and become independent.”