CanAssist

University of Victoria

Together we CanAssist.

Teen lands dream job, with support from Coast Capital Savings

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When he was a little boy, James was fascinated by garbage trucks. On collection day he watched at the window and ran out to help the waste collectors load the truck.

Now 18, James is a friendly, easy-going teen, who loves bowling, biking and meeting new people. But he was finding it difficult to get a part-time job that matched his personality and skill set. So last year, he joined TeenWork, the CanAssist program that changes the life path of young people with disabilities by helping them find and retain part-time employment.

With ongoing support from his TeenWork job coaches, James created resumes, practised interview skills and spoke with local employers. TeenWork helps young people build the confidence and life skills they need for their future as working adults. But it wouldn't be possible without the generous donors who fund TeenWork.

Coast Capital provides ongoing support

Linley tours CanAssit and delivers a cheque for the TeenWork program.One of those funders, Coast Capital Savings, has given more than $120,000 to the program since 2010, almost as long as TeenWork has been operating. This consistent support has allowed CanAssist to hire qualified staff to serve the approximately 30 youth participating in the program at any given time. Coast Capital's Island Youth Get It Community Council, a group of eight emerging young leaders, made the funding decision. The credit union's innovative program empowers the young people who serve on the council to develop their community leadership skills through allocating Coast Capital's community dollars. Linley Faulkner, chair of the Vancouver Island Youth Get It Community Council, was one of the council members who chose to award a grant to CanAssist again.

“As a UVic alumna, I was aware of CanAssist, but I didn't know the range and depth of their programs,” she says. Linley took a tour of CanAssist's offices and labs when she delivered a cheque for $25,000. “I learned about the many social and technical innovations at CanAssist, and how they make such a huge difference to people's lives.”

Contributing to the community

Linley explains that the alignment between the work that CanAssist does and Coast Capital's community promise was a key deciding factor.

“Coast Capital's community promise is to help build a richer future for youth in our community,” explains Linley. “One of the pillars of that promise focuses on financial empowerment for young people. CanAssist ticks all the boxes in terms of what we look for in the groups we support and we are happy to hear that Coast Capital's funding is making a real difference through CanAssist's work.”

This year James landed his dream job working as a waste collector in his neighbourhood. Thanks to Coast Capital Savings, that little boy who watched garbage trucks is now firmly on a journey to becoming a confident and increasingly independent adult.

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