When Basel came to March of Dimes Canada (MODC) for help finding employment, he wanted to work full-time as a Farm Hand. Basel grew up in Syria where he worked on a farm his whole life. When he moved to Canada in 2016, however, he faced numerous barriers to employment including a lack of formal training, no Canadian job experience and deafness. With all these barriers in his way, it was not surprising that he struggled to secure employment.
After considering potential career paths, Trisha had her sights set on working in the restaurant industry because she felt her positive energy and upbeat personality would translate well into customer service.
Trisha was soon referred to MentorAbility to gain hands-on work experience, and the first mentorship opportunity that came along was in childcare (and not the restaurant industry). Trisha figured that any work experience was good experience, so she agreed to be mentored by Tiffany, owner of the ProCare Family Centre in Ottawa.
“I believe inspiration and encouragement go a long way for every person, it only takes one person who believes in you to change a life,” said Erin (an awesome mentor from Saskatchewan!). Erin chooses to volunteer as a mentor to be that one person — the person who changes someone’s life for the better.
As an Indigenous Resource Officer with the local police, Erin is an advocate for Indigenous Protocols, accessibility, equality and equity; and, as such, she works hard to change the historically troubled relationship between police (simâkansuk) and Indigenous People into something more positive.
As a massive sports fan, Brandon loves his current role as a back shop merchandiser for a sporting goods store in Calgary; and, he’s been commended on his excellent work ethic many times over the years. Despite loving his job, however, Brandon wanted to further challenge himself by moving into more of a customer service role but there were no openings at his current location.
MentorAbility is all about making connections — links between mentors and proteges, people and organizations, and turning dreams into reality. So, when Ian came to us and said he wanted to be a professional wrestler, we got to work immediately on connecting him with someone with real, in-ring wrestling experience.
When Brian first heard about MentorAbility – and the idea he could gain a valuable mentoring experience in a desired field – he immediately wanted to do something with cars. As a fan of cars, Brian thought a good entry point into this industry would be cleaning and washing vehicles for a dealership. Thankfully, MentorAbility was able to connect Brian with Chilliwack Ford in B.C.
For Kyla-Lorraine, administrative officer at SPHERE, the primary goal of participating in the MentorAbility initiative as a mentor was to help others. And she achieved her goal! In fact, she was able to answer all the questions asked by her mentee, Sara. Kyla-Lorraine was able to teach her the basics of her work, explain in detail her daily tasks, and paint a picture of what her job is like so that Sara could understand that profession.
The MentorAbility Program helps people gain employment experience they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find on their own. And, in some special cases, it helps people become employed too!! This is exactly the case with Sydney who was mentored by staff at KOKO Patisserie in Regina and ended up being offered a job!
It’s never easy to find a job when looking to enter the job market for the first time or even when returning to it. MentorAbility is a great way to meet an employer and provides a glimpse into the sector that a mentee wishes to enter. The following experience demonstrates a key goal of the initiative, that of inspiring a mentee and opening up his horizons.
Brigitte had a great MentorAbility experience. Given her search for a job in the field of emergency call dispatch, she was pleased to take part in a virtual discussion with her mentor Karolanne, from Health Emergencies, who described her work days in detail in order to give her an idea of what it’s like to work in such a role.