Gary Jaswal approached us with the goal of becoming a recreation aid. Gary has Spina Bifida (new window) and has always used a wheelchair. His previous experience included running the basketball drop-in program at a local recreation centre. He joined the 53rd session of our Employ-Ability program and has not looked back since. During the time Gary was enrolled in our program, he also managed to enter the British Columbia Winter Games (new window) as part of a wheelchair basketball team. Gary returned from snowy and picturesque Kimberly-Cranbook with a bronze medal that he and his team won in the finals!
As part our Employ-Ability program, participants develop an Action Plan. Their unique Action Plan is their path to employment and long-term attachment to the workforce. As part of the plan, we guide participants to conduct information interviews with employers and business owners in their target fields. Gary outlined National Occupation Classification (new window) 5254: Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation and Sport as his field of primary interest during his time with us and his path includes entry into a post secondary program. Gary requires some new skills and a certain number of recordable volunteer hours in order to enter the program. With facilitation from our Distance Learning Coordinator, Chad Leaman, and Bobbi Tanguay at the Rick Hansen Foundation (new window) , Gary chose to volunteer for Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion (new window). With Gary being a medal winning athlete, the relationship was a fitting match. His primary duty was to promote Wheels in Motion (new window) in the Vancouver-Lower Mainland area. Now he is volunteering with the local Boys and Girls Club (new window) and helping youth through recreation and coaching.
Gary has been recently interviewed by Channel M-Multivision TV, and he shared his experiences with the interviewer, local and national viewers. The multicultural channel’s over-the-air and cable coverage includes the Vancouver and the surrounding area, as well as coverage with a leading national satellite television provider.
As Gary shared recently, “The Neil Squire Society Employ-Ability program gave me the skills and the confidence to further my career. With that career I would like to serve my community, youth, and people with disabilities.” We support you all the way, Gary!
If you would like to make a donation to support others like Gary, you may do so here.