Hope, sometimes it’s like a needle in a hay stack

Employ-Ability participant, RebeccaBefore coming to the Neil Squire Society, Rebecca had tried other employment services in Ottawa (new window) and was feeling discouraged. Finally, she met with Employ-Ability Program Facilitator, Polly, who told her about the Neil Squire Society’s programs for people with disabilities. Rebecca recalls, “When Polly met with me and told me about the Employ-Ability Pogram, I was awe struck. Polly was like finding a needle in a hay stack. She was so positive, I saw a glimmer of hope that I could learn and do things on my own.”

When Rebecca met with Employ-Ability Program Coordinator, Joelle, she shared that she had a non-verbal learning disability and that she struggles with clinical depression and anxiety. Throughout the Employ-Ability Program Rebecca learned more about her disability and the support that she requires. “It takes me longer to process information. I realize now that I might need information repeated or rephrased so that I can understand. I’ve learned that it’s okay to take your time and that it’s okay to have these challenges and work at things differently,” shares Rebecca.

During her time in the Employ-Ability Program, Rebecca faced some challenges with her mental health. “At times I have felt anxious while I’m in the class and I have had to learn not to focus on that and to focus on my work.” As part of the Employ-Ability Program, Rebecca has completed lessons and exercises in stress and anxiety management and continues to practice the strategies that she has learned.

Rebecca believes that the lessons on communication skills and goal setting benefited her the most. “I thought I knew how to set a goal, but I didn’t. One of the goals I set for myself was to start running and I did that and feel motivated.

Rebecca has decided to return to school to obtain a diploma in Early Childhood Education (new window). She has been accepted to the program and started in January 2014. She feels confident that she can continue to access support through the Neil Squire Society.