From the time we can remember, employers have advertised their positions to find suitable candidates. That’s the norm. But consider the reverse now. How often do you see a person looking for employment place an advertisement in a local newspaper in the hope of finding the right employer? Not very often. However, this was the unusual and bold path Lucy, a student of our Employ-Ability program recently chose that exceeded her expectations. She was offered not one, but two jobs.
What makes her achievement especially stand out, are some very serious challenges she has had to deal with over the years. Lucy is affected by cerebral palsy (new window). She uses a motorized wheelchair to move around and often has to be very patient and repeat herself because her significant level of cerebral palsy (new window) impacts her ability to speak clearly.
She has been a long-term participant in Neil Squire Society’s federal and provincial employment programs to help develop her skills and assist in her job search. Bright, capable and motivated, Lucy has always been keen to participate in the world around her. She worked closely with our job developer, and together they tried many different approaches to find part-time employment. She was offered first interviews, but those didn’t result into job offers. Her significant communication challenges limited her ability to leave a favourable first impression. And unfortunately for her, the potential employers couldn’t look beyond to see what Lucy really had to offer.
Not one to be discouraged by her initial failures, Lucy decided to try out something very different. Instead of waiting for employers to advertise a job, she advertised herself for a job. And the rest as they say is history. “I have been given an early Christmas gift,” says a thrilled Lucy who has been rewarded for her perseverance. “My job search was long and tough. And yes, it required a lot of patience and hard work on my part. But I was amazed at how the Neil Squire Society stuck by me throughout this time. Their commitment to my cause and belief in my ability to finally make it, gave me the courage I needed to continue trying.” Lucy has been hired by the New Beginnings Church in Vancouver, where she will be working full-time till the New Year and then once a week from there on. Currently, she also works for a medical counseling office in the evenings and on weekends taking care of their payroll. She will continue to do so one day every two weeks in the coming year.
Lucy uses assistive technology; a key guard on her modified keyboard, both of which have been provided to her by the Neil Squire Society.
She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (new window) and is currently working on returning to school for further education. She has sat on several Boards including the North Shore Disability Resource Centre (new window) , the BC Coalition for People with Disabilities (new window) and the North Shore Advisory Commission for Disability Issues (new window).
We, at the Neil Squire Society are very proud of Lucy. She is a shinning example of what a person can accomplish with the right kind of support, the will to succeed and sheer strength of character. Congratulations Lucy!
If you would like to make a donation to support others like Lucy, you may do so here.