Never Without our Partners Contest

SPHERE Celebrates with its Partners!

2017 marked the 20th anniversary of SPHERE’s contribution to the success of the FIPH! It goes without saying that working with partners has been the cornerstone of the success of our model for 20 years. To mark this event, SPHERE celebrated with you dear partners!

With the Never Without our Partners Contest, we asked you if SPHERE’s support had helped the success of one or more of your clients? Here are your success stories!

Prize: an isolated “softshell” sport coat, with hoodfor, for the partner and his participant.

Success stories

Bryce

Bryce.Bryce joined the Sphere program in December of 2015/2016 year. Bryce was a program volunteer with the Bobcats, but with the help of Sphere and his support team, he was successful in obtaining a paid job with the Brandon University Bobcats sports program. Bryce has been a huge part of the Bobcats as a Special Events/ Party Patrol staff member. He is great at pumping up the crowd at the Brandon University Bobcats home games for the volleyball, basketball and soccer seasons. He drives his red scooter up and down the field or court to get the crowd excited. He has also been a past volunteer for the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities – children’s spring, summer and fall camps. Bryce is also studying for his Bachelors’ of physical education at Brandon University. Bryce is really an inspiration and has not let his disability stand in his way of achieving his goals. Congratulations Bryce! We are all proud of you! – Sandy Skibo, Employment Specialist, Career Connections Inc., Brandon, Manitoba

Kristopher

Kristopher and Natalie.With assistance from SPHERE, Kristopher’s employer was able to obtain an occupational therapist assessment in order to make adaptations and accommodations making their workplace more accessible for Kristopher, one of Kristopher’s largest barrier. Kristopher has been very successful working with a smooth transition into his place of work with supports from his employer, and Society of Manitoba with Disabilities-Thompson Supported Employment Program. Kristopher has been very successful working at River View Restaurant for over a year now and remains gainfully employed.Natalie Lagace, Senior Job Coach, Society of Manitoba with disabilities, Thompson Supported Employed Program, Thompson, Manitoba

Photo: Kristopher and Natalie

Danielle

Danielle.As a child, Danielle was diagnosed with social anxiety, panic disorder, ADHD and acute shyness. Her previous work record consisted of a short two weeks, her employer discharged her before her probation was over, saying she wasn’t “fast enough”. Danielle, then 22, was devastated, but determined. She knew that she wanted more in life, so she started taking control! Her first step was to enroll in the Thompson Supported Employment Program workshops. She had perfect attendance, and we all watched in amazement as this young girl blossomed in our presence. In this safe environment, Danielle shared her personal journey. And she found people ready to give her a nudge, a gentle push and a warm hug! It worked! She began accepting their gift of caring, and learnt how to eventually give it back to those who needed it. And she grew. Danielle’s first job shadow at a high end local hotel was a huge success; Danielle did far more than carry her own weight. Needless to say, she was very disappointed when her two week placement was coming to an end. What she didn’t know was on that very day, with the help of a wage subsidy through SPHERE, a decision had been made to hire her on a permanent basis! We are all so proud of this young girls accomplishments and her ability to keep on keeping on! You did it Danielle with a little help from your friends! Congratulations! – Audrie Brooks, Employment Development Specialist, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, Thompson Supported Employment Program, Thompson, Manitoba

Kayson

Natalie and Kayson.Kayson, and with the assistance of a job coach completed a work placement where he gained experience as a general labor. Kayson was able to learn the skills required and now felt that he was able to do this position. Kayson took pride in his work. Kayson was hired on by the Thompson Recycling Centre in June of this year. With the supports in place and assistance from SPHERE a wage subsidy made Kayson’s transition more fluent. Today Kayson is working as part of the team on the assembly line as a sorter. More recent Kayson is assisting on –Pick up delivery’s of cardboard from local business.Natalie Lagace, Senior Job Coach, Society of Manitoba with disabilities, Thompson Supported Employed Program, Thompson, Manitoba

Photo: Natalie and Kayson

Burnell

Burnell and Audrie.June 26, 2017 at 8 am was the beginning of a whole new life for Burnell. This 22 year old man had only one very casual job in his short lifetime, making the basic minimum wage. Coping with the challenge of an intellectual disability, Burnell made a brave decision by signing up with the Thompson Supported Employment Program. Upon completion of the 96 hour course, Burnell came to the conclusion that he wanted to become a security guard. With the help of SPHERE, Burnell took his security training, scoring a very impressive 91%, placing him at the top of his class! A second test with the ASAP Security company brought home a 95% test result, and Burnell was immediately hired! Today, five months later, he is still celebrating and grateful to the supports that helped him succeed!Audrie Brooks, Employment Development Specialist, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, Thompson Supported Employment Program, Thompson, Manitoba

Photo: Burnell and Audrie

Richard

Richard Burchill and Cathy Patterson.The first person who greets you at Key Industries in person or by phone is Richard Burchill, Receptionist/Billing Clerk. His new found confidence, improved body image and big smile are the result of having the support from SPHERE who made this opportunity possible. This is the first job for Richard in 25 years and it also encompasses tasks that include the knowledge learned at university and college in accounting and business. He is learning a new software accounting program, resolving discrepancies and helping our accounting team reconcile our accounts!Cathy Patterson, Employment Specialist, Key Industries, Saint John, New Brunswick

Photo: Richard Burchill et Cathy Patterson

Joe

Joe.Joe is more than excited to provide ‘royal service’ to his customers every shift he works at Princess Auto. Whenever you talk to Joe about his job, he BEAMS with all the knowledge he gains from his position and all the positive experiences he has there. Seeing such pride and accomplishment on his face makes the journey worth it. Thanks to SPHERE, Joe was able to get the right accommodations and strategies in place through a job coach to ensure he maintains successful employment.Caitlin Smith, Employment Support Worker, Key Industries, Saint John, New Brunswick

Cindy

Bastarache and Lisa Magee.Cindy Bastarache started working at a small restaurant in Saint John NB in February 2017. She was able to re-enter the workplace with support from SPHERE. She is very happy doing food preparation for daily customers and also catering jobs for business in uptown Saint John. Cindy is thankful for this opportunity and job coaching support to help her on her ways to independent living. The owner and the rest of staff at Treats are very impressed with the level of work Cindy brings to the company and they are thankful to SPHERE in making this happen!Lisa Magee, Employment Support Worker, Key Industries, Saint John, New Brunswick

Photo: Cindy Bastarache and Lisa Magee

Denis

Lucie Vézina et Denis Letellier.Denis Letellier contacted us for support to fulfill his dream of opening a shoe repair shop and leaving income security. Mr. Letellier worked very hard to realize his dream. Thanks to SPHERE support, he opened a small shop on a commercial street in Saint-Raymond. The support also led to knowledge transfer with a retired shoemaker. In April 2017, a fire ravaged the building and it had to be completely demolished. Because Mr. Letellier had strong ties to the community, he received help from many people and decided to continue working from home. However, Mr. Letellier quickly realized that it was important to have a storefront to attract business. Last August, he found a location that suited him perfectly. It’s early December. I had to call him twice for permission to tell his story because he was too busy! A great success!Lucie Vézina, Psychosocial Worker, L’Arc-en-ciel, Donnacona, Quebec

Photo: Lucie Vézina et Denis Letellier

Melanie

Valérie Moschonas et Mélanie Brouillette.Before her difficulties, Mrs. Brouillette was a self-employed optician. Her job caused her a lot of stress and anxiety, so she had to stop. She became interested in Thai Yoga-massage because of how it helped her manage her anxiety. Eventually, she wanted to offer the population of Trois-Rivières the therapeutic benefits of the exercise. Through the support of the SPHERE self-employed program, Ms. Brouillette started over by launching her own business. The participant demonstrated resilience with a new career that supported her wellness as well as the good of others. – Valérie Moschonas, Employment Counsellor, SEMO Mauricie, Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Photo: Valérie Moschonas et Mélanie Brouillette

Lidia

Lidia.The following is the story of Lidia Vanotti. She wanted to enroll in the program “My Station” funded by SPHERE. In the program, people with disabilities can learn a number of trades (i.e., food services, housekeeping, warehouses, grocery and retail stores) to get a regular job and keep it. Lidia was shy and very withdrawn. She lacked assertiveness. The program helped her to “get out” of her shell. She tried out a school cafeteria and as a result, she found something she wanted to do. She was so service-oriented and dedicated that they decided to hire her! She is now proud to be a Compass Group employee. – Flore Vergé, Social Work Technician, Socioprofessional integration, My Station program, Paul-Émile-Dufresne Centre, Laval, Quebec

Students in training

Cohort of students 2017-2018 and some Employment Counsellors.For over 10 years, Orientation Travail, in partnership with SPHERE has offered work-study programs for people living with disabilities in the Eastern Township’s region. Thanks to the financial support of SPHERE, they have been trained for grocery stores, customer service or general help in companies. Specifically, the contribution of SPHERE has meant customers in the region can take part in the project. It has helped all participants get internships in real jobs and then, sponsored employment integration by paying transportation fees and supporting employers with the supervision and integration of trainees. Over the years, more than 100 people have got a job by the end of the project. On behalf of all participants and the entire Orientation Travail team, thank you for your trust and cooperation.Marilyn Desmarais, Coordinator, Orientation Travail, Sherbrooke, Quebec

Photo: cohort of students 2017-2018 and some employment counsellors.

Fiona

Fiona and Kathleen.Fiona had the opportunity to work as a graphic designer in a company. With the help of SPHERE and AIM CROIT, she was able to attain the career for which she had been working hard. Fiona is deaf, but was able to overcome prejudice and move forward in her project goal and journey. The company for which she works is warm and welcoming and matches my client’s values. It is open to diversity and is particularly interested in the well-being and health of its employees. With the help of SPHERE, Fiona achieved her goal.Kathleen Synotte, Employment Counsellor , AIM CROIT, Montreal, Quebec

Photo: Fiona Reed and Kathleen Synotte

Vincent

Vincent.Vincent knew exactly what he wanted in his future employment. Because Vincent was a part of Youth Works the previous year, he was able to experience a job in landscaping; he knew that this year he wanted to try developing his skills at a new type of work. Vincent has a strong work ethic and a desire to keep busy so the Youth Works team thought he would be a perfect fit at the Pioneer McDonalds. Vincent was hired on as a dishwasher and he blew everyone away with his skills! They couldn’t believe his ability to multitask and prioritize, he always asked for more to do. He quickly became a staple on the shifts he worked and he was eventually hired on for ongoing employment there. His managers still rave about how hard and quickly he works!

Because of SPHERE’s support, Langley Association for Community Living, Youth Works project was able to support 12 students in their employment journey. Some students have never worked before; this was their first paid job! It was exciting to see the smiles on their faces when they received their first cheque! Without the support of SPHERE, this could not have been possible, we are very appreciative. – Tami Logan, Supervisor of Employment Services, Langley Association for Community Living, Langley, British Columbia

Maddison

Maddison.Maddison joined Youth Works this year because she wanted to have summer employment like other kids her age. Maddison had the opportunity to work outside in the sunny summer weather cleaning the grounds of the Aldergrove Credit Union. Maddison was excited to earn money and when she received her pay cheque she couldn’t stop smiling! After having the opportunity to earn some spending money, Maddi told the Youth Works staff that she would like to get a part time job and work during her grade 12 year. Youth Works staff spoke to the Starbucks in her neighbourhood and they agreed to hire her in a café attendant position one shift a week. Maddi was thrilled! Not only is she happy to receive a pay cheque, she also enjoys a free drink at the end of her shift.

Because of SPHERE’s support, Langley Association for Community Living, Youth Works project was able to support 12 students in their employment journey. Some students have never worked before; this was their first paid job! It was exciting to see the smiles on their faces when they received their first cheque! Without the support of SPHERE, this could not have been possible, we are very appreciative. – Tami Logan, Supervisor of Employment Services, Langley Association for Community Living, Langley, British Columbia

Kendal

Kendal.Kendal is a very dedicated, hardworking individual who enjoys being in involved in her community. Over the past few years Kendal has learned new skills, developed a great work ethic and has become an independent, confident individual. Kendal was hired at Sodexo at Trinity Western University as a dishwasher. Kendal has always enjoyed being in the kitchen at home and wanted to contribute to her community by using her kitchen skills in a business. After working in the kitchen at Trinity Western University and developing new skills, Kendal decided she wanted to remain working in a kitchen but wanted to use her baking skills. Kendal is now working part-time at Tracy Cakes as a Bakery Assistant which allows Kendal to put her dishwashing and baking skills to work. Kendal beams when she tells people where she works… “I work at my dream job!” 

Because of SPHERE’s support, Langley Association for Community Living, Youth Works project was able to support 12 students in their employment journey. Some students have never worked before; this was their first paid job! It was exciting to see the smiles on their faces when they received their first cheque! Without the support of SPHERE, this could not have been possible, we are very appreciative. – Tami Logan, Supervisor of Employment Services, Langley Association for Community Living, Langley, British Columbia

Christina

Christina.This is Christina’s first year participating in the Youth Works Project. Christina is a very outgoing, independent and caring individual who has a passion towards taking care of animals. Christina has been working with animals since 2011 and has 2 dogs of her own. Christina wanted to put her animal skills to work at a business that has a grooming site on the premises. Christina is now working full time in the grooming department of PetSmart. Christina is beyond happy! She has a permanent full time position doing something she loves! 

Because of SPHERE’s support, Langley Association for Community Living, Youth Works project was able to support 12 students in their employment journey. Some students have never worked before; this was their first paid job! It was exciting to see the smiles on their faces when they received their first cheque! Without the support of SPHERE, this could not have been possible, we are very appreciative. – Tami Logan, Supervisor of Employment Services, Langley Association for Community Living, Langley, British Columbia

Kevin

Kevin.SPHERE has provided Kevin Basque the opportunity to land his dream job. Kevin loves animals and thanks to the funding provided, he now works at Little Ray’s Reptiles in Ottawa. “Kevin is a valued member of our team,” says Paul “Little Ray” Goulet, “he is working with the animals and he is great with the kids. He travels to our shows all over eastern Ontario and will be heading even farther in the near future. We are a small business so everyone has to contribute, the partnership with Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc. (PPRC) and SPHERE has allowed us to train Kevin, learn his capabilities and match him to a job that supports us and one he loves.” Everyone at Little Ray’s supports Kevin and they all remark on the change in how confident and outgoing Kevin has become. SPHERE’s partnership with PPRC has made this possible. –Ian Grant, Business Manager, Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc., Ottawa, Ontario 

Photo (from left to right): Brian Oehring Curator, Marilyne Lapierre SPHERE, Joël Dazé PPRC, Kevin Basque, Paul “Little Ray” Goulet Owner and Mike Lyon Operations Manager

Mélanie

Mélanie Bilodeau and Kathleen Synotte.Mélanie Bilodeau’s project is definitely a success. Indeed, after a self-employed journey, Mélanie became a paid employee with the help of SPHERE and AIM CROIT, in a field she has long coveted and which suits her. Melanie has worked very hard to carry out this personal project by participating in our organization’s various workshops, such as the one on self-confidence. She has worked all her life as a small business owner, and the shift to paid employment has been quite a challenge. With the help of SPHERE and AIM CROIT, Mélanie was able to achieve her project for the future. She is now a furniture restorer in an organization with values that resemble her and she continues to flourish.Kathleen Synotte, Employment Counsellor , AIM CROIT, Montreal, Quebec

Photo: Kathleen Synotte et Mélanie Bilodeau

Élie-Jacques

Élie-Jacques Collins-Cormier et Anne Murray.Élie-Jacques Collins-Cormier is self-employed and an artist. Élie-Jacques has Asperger Syndrome, which undermined his confidence as a painter. He believed that only people who had an emotional connection with him could appreciate and most of all, buy his works. After a few exploratory meetings about career choices, it became clear that he had a true artistic vision, and his entrepreneurial spirit was awakened. An entire team (SADC, CISSS, SEMO, SPHERE) got involved to help him develop his project. His perseverance is bearing fruit. He is constantly developing new and innovative ideas to make a living as an artist. Shows to come!!! Photo : Élie-Jacques Collins-Cormier and Anne Murray.Anne Murray, Employment Counsellor, SEMO Côte-Nord, Sept-Îles, Quebec

Photo: Élie-Jacques Collins-Cormier et Anne Murray

Aaron

Aaron.The day I met Aaron, he sat down in my office and informed me of his goal of gaining meaningful employment as a Custodian. With the assistance from Sphere and Premier Personnel Aaron has been able to successfully reach his goals. He is currently working at a school division in Winnipeg as a Custodian Assistant and is currently enrolled in a Class 5 Power Engineering class to further his career. Aaron loves his job and is extremely grateful for the assistance that he received to be able to achieve his goals.Brenda Braun, Employment Specialist, Premier Personnel Corporation, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Alexandre

Alexandre Dion and Alexandre Bergeron.Alexandre Dion is a general contractor in construction, thanks to SPHERE’s self-employment assistance program. Mr. Dion was a woodworker/carpenter. Following an injury to his foot in an accident, he was unable to fully recover, thus, limiting his speed and ability to work for a long time on ladders. His limitations concerned contractors who wanted to hire him. So Alexandre started a renovation company with the help of the self-employment assistance program. With a whole year of support, Alexandre could complete general contractor training and obtain a license by working the number of hours required. Recently, Alexandre landed a major commercial renovation contract and manages himself teams of workers from different trades and the construction work as well. Thanks to SPHERE’s self-employed support program and SEMO Drummond Inc. (Bois-Francs), Mr. Dion is a self-employed worker who owns his business, and is self-supporting. Alexandre Bergeron, Employment Counsellor SEMO Centre-du-Québec (Bois-Francs), Victoriaville, Quebec

Photo: Alexandre Dion and Alexandre Bergeron

Lavina

Lavina.Each week in summer 2016 Lavina worked with a job coach while tidying up the kitchen and dining area, filling sugars, napkins etc. in the senior’s facility where she trained with a wage subsidy sponsored by Sphere and other Employment Supports provided by Links to Health. In addition she also worked alongside the cook doing various tasks and by the latter half of her 16 week placement she was baking regularly. This gave her the confidence to work with a job coach in another independent seniors facility. Then Lavina had the courage to find her own employment and work independently at Tim Hortons where she is currently employed using the skills developed in her placement. Her co-workers at the Nursing Home in 2016 nominated her as a guardian angel through St Francis Valley Health Foundation and she received this honour (picture). – Elser Lee Archer, RSW, Links to Health Employment Supports Coordinator, Barry’s Bay, Ontario

Rules – Never Without our Partners Contest

  • The SPHERE partner obtained client consent before the contest.
  • The partner sends a picture and a short text presenting the success of his client.
  • Participants (partners and clients) authorize SPHERE to post photos, text and names on its website and Facebook page.
  • The deadline to enter the contest is Sunday, December 10th at midnight.
  • The winners drawing (partner-client duo) will be held on December 12th.
  • Drawing will be made by a member of the SPHERE Communications Department.
  • The winning partner will be contacted by email and will notify their client after.
  • The Never Without our Parters Contest is organized by SPHERE.
  • The contest is neither organized nor sponsored by Facebook.