Hammond River Angling Association Provides an Integral Stepping Stone for Youth with Disabilities

July 14, 2021

For the last two years, Neil Squire has partnered with the Hammond River Angling Association (new window) (HRAA) to provide summer employment to local youth with disabilities.

Hammond River Angling Association logoHammond River Angling Association is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to protect and preserve the Hammond River through education, conservation, and community interaction. Each year, they run the Hammond River Nature Camp for children aged 5 to 12 with weekly themes that focus on core activities such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, fly tying, paddle boarding, and field games.

As a non-profit organization, the HRAA relies heavily on outside funding. Their Camp Director points out that the Working Together program has been extremely beneficial in supporting their efforts to be inclusive and provide equal opportunities to summer staff.

Initially, Neil Squire’s connection with the HRAA stemmed from a young woman with a passion for fishing, after a casual conversation with her Job Developer about her weekend fishing trip. The Job Developer reached out to the HRAA, and a wonderful relationship was forged.

Water body in the background, with the setting sun. A fishing rod in the foreground

That year, the young woman was hired as a camp counselor through the Working Together program’s wage subsidy funding. Her work ethic and positive attitude made her an ideal fit for the position, and her experience that year exemplified the success of the Working Together program. She was hired on again the following summer at the employer’s own expense. This proved to be an integral stepping stone, as she now plans to study early childhood education at college next year.

The HRAA has since gone on to hire two other youth with disabilities through the Working Together program, providing them with invaluable opportunities in their first real-world employment experience.

Neil Squire looks forward to our continued work together to promote inclusive employment experiences for local youth with disabilities.