Sam’s journey with Family Services of Peel (FSP) began in 2016. Here is an excerpt from his speech at the 2017 Annual General Meeting.
I found FSP at a time when I had little hope with employment. Every day I would come home from school and spend hours applying to positions that I was qualified for. As time went on, I was not hearing anything in return.
After months and months of search to no avail, I was hopeless. This hopelessness turned around when I learned about the Summer Employment Program that was being offered by FSP for students returning to school the following year. The program employs students as interns throughout the summer. I applied for the program, and was hired.
It was a true sense of joy and accomplishment. While employed as an intern with FSP I was involved in a variety of different programs, and completed many different tasks that helped me develop a lot of skills that I will use for the rest of my life. I worked on formatting newsletters for the Peel Institute on Violence Prevention, and also designed flyers for different events, which helped enhance my computer and graphic design skills. I also spent a lot of time at the front desk doing reception duties, which has given me hands-on experience with administrative work. I was even given the opportunity to volunteer with the F&ST Program, which gave me the experience of working with children, and also helped to develop my leadership skills.
As the summer came to an end, it was the realization that my journey with FSP was also coming to an end. I was returning to college in September of that year and needed a placement for my mandatory co-op, so I requested to do my placement with FSP, and that request was granted.
It was during this time that I experienced the part of this journey that helped shape me the most, and that was my experience with the Youth Opportunities Program (YOP). Clients join the program at intervals throughout the year, where they go through 3 weeks of workshops. I was given the opportunity to design and deliver workshops. As time went on, and more workshops happened, I facilitated more and more, and developed my communication, public speaking, and leadership skills because of this opportunity.
In conclusion, FSP made me into a new person. Before my placement I was hopeless, and thought I would never find suitable employment. My experience with FSP showed me that no matter how hopeless or discouraged you are, giving up and taking the easy way out is never the answer. No matter who you are, and no matter what obstacles you’re facing in life, with some hard work, perseverance, and patience, anything can be accomplished.