All the content for FutureStart has been researched, written and designed by 6 young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 years, from Lunenburg County,Nova Scotia. To design and build the site they worked in collaboration with Digital Fusion, a local Marketing and Communications company (www.fusionstudio.com).
The site is intended to provide some basic skills and resources for teens, young adults and adults as you look for employment or try to decide your next steps in your career path.It is not meant to re-invent all the great resources that already exist, rather as an entry point for individuals to easily navigate and access these resources.
This project is a unique collaboration which involves the young adults; HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development as project manager and facilitator; (www.heartwood.ns.ca), Employment Support Services, Lunenburg District Office of Nova Scotia's Community Services as funder and co-facilitator; and Digital Fusion's web design and graphic expertise and resources.
To build this site the young adults interviewed numerous local employment and career resource organizations; they hosted two panels, one with local employment related organizations and one with local employers. They also led focus groups at a local highschool. In addition the young people participated in sessions to develop their own employability and career skills. In creating this site, these 6 participants have flipped the script in which they are often seen as recipients of services to become service providers themselves. By building the site they have built their own employability skills while creating a site that will serve other young people in the community.
At the time of creating this site, the young adults involved are all trying to find employment themselves; they are exploring their own potential and making decisions for their futures. As you'll see by their bios below, they are all living the questions, joys and struggles of this journey towards meaningful career and occupation.
If you have questions or comments regarding the FutureStart project or this website you can contact us here.
My name is Mallory. I am a graduate from Park View Education Centre and a very proud aunt of four wonderful nieces and a beautiful nephew. My passion is working with children and youth. I enjoy playing hockey, basketball, swimming and soccer. I live on the ice and in the water most of the year. High school was a struggle for me due to some personal issues and took me 5 years to complete, and even still I had very poor grades. I made a lot of mistakes but never gave up...no matter how badly I wanted to. I chose to surround myself with positive people who cared about me and with my determination and their guidance and support I am proud to say I am now happy and working toward building myself a new path to a great and bright future. Being open to letting things flow and not being too disappointed when things do not go quite as planned has been something I struggled with for a long time, but now realize I must accept because in the end it takes you to a place that is usually better than the originally intended destination. I love my family. I laugh at those who say you cannot choose your relatives because for me my family are not blood relatives, they are the people who have been there for me and stuck by me through better, worse, thick and thin. They showed true compassion, empathy, respect and devotion. If it were not for each and every one of them I can safely say I would not be the person I am today, working on making a brighter future for myself. I can honestly bet that if not for them I probably would not be here at all. Always remember that the best things in life are worth fighting the hardest for and that around every turn is a new adventure. Welcome the adventure and welcome the wonderful people it brings into your life with open arms and an open mind. You never know what you might learn or when you may need them.
Hi, I'm Jason, I have lived in Nova Scotia all my life. I went to Blockhouse Elementary, then Bay View junior high and PVEC to finish my grade 12. After that I spent a year looking for work and working part time. I then went to NSCC and took the 2 year business course to receive my diploma. After that I went to work at Resolve call center for a few years then as a contractor for Michelin. After I lost my job I spent a year looking for work. I also did volunteer work and started doing programs through Community Services and Employment Solutions on resume building and interview skills. This past spring I was working with HeartWood in a program at the Desbrisay museum to film heritage skills. After we finished the project we were invited to speak at the Nova Scotia Career Conference in Halifax. Currently I am working with HeartWood to build this website. In January I will be going to Cannexus14 National Career Development Conference in Ottawa to speak about my experience working both at the Desbrisay museum and on the FutureStart website. We will also be doing some sightseeing while we are there and I'm looking forward to the opportunity.
My name is Caitlin, I am a graduate of the Adult High School, class of 2011. I feel as though my Bio on here can help a lot of people, and hopefully give some inspiration. When I was 16 I dropped out of school thinking I could find a job on my own and become an adult much quicker than life had planned for me. Well, needless to say after two years of jobs I disliked, and tossing the idea of school around, I returned as a full-time student, and graduated a year and a half later with my high school diploma. I had no plans of college, looking at different courses, but never really knew what to do or made a final decision. With more jobs with no advances, I was introduced to the HeartWood Program through my Employment Support Case Worker. Hesitant at first, I took the opportunity to be part of building this website, because I know the struggles first hand, I know what it's like to look for employment with dead-ends, and to top it off, at 23 years of age, I still don't know what my future career will be, and as I have discovered I am not alone in that aspect. This program has been a blessing, opening up doors that I never knew existed. I've always wanted to help others, and HeartWood has given me that opportunity. I have now been doing self exploration, and asking myself questions about my future, I can finally say I am on the right path, and I hope some of you reading this can relate, know you're not alone, be inspired to "go for it!", get outside your comfort zone, and take a step into your future. If I can do that, I promise any one can. Not only do I get to plan for myself, I get to plan a future for my daughter as well.
Hello my name is Emma, I've been helping with this site and I am a youth that is also looking for work. I have been at the South Shore Work Activity Program, which was a great opportunity for me, and the HeartWood program as well! It is a great start to volunteer and get involved with programs. I'm also planning to go back for my grade 12.
Hello, my name is Wayne, I am 19 years old and have lived in Nova Scotia, Canada all my life. A few of my hobbies are playing World of Warcraft and listening to music. I've graduated high school and spent some time in the "gap year" learning more about myself. I am a very friendly person who loves to learn new things. I've learned to appreciate anything and everything equally. Including every sunrise and every scratch on the knee, it all happens for a reason and it's our job to figure out why.
Hi, my name's Martin. I am one of the youth that helped build this website. I live in Bridgewater, but I'm actually not from here, I moved here from Germany. I love Japanese rock; my favorite band is the four-girl band, SCANDAL. I am also an active YouTuber and make some money off it, feel free to visit my channel ReachieX if you are interested in gaming.
Hi, I'm Brian, I have been working with HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development for almost 20 years! It's definitely a job, career and occupation all rolled into one, aka my passion and my dream job! I have all these amazing opportunities to work with young people who really care about their communities and want to make a difference for themselves and in their worlds. I've been co-facilitating this project with Gail and its really been a pleasure to work with both the young adults and Digital Fusion, both are vital to the completion of the website. When not working with HeartWood I facilitate a Leadership Certificate program with Dalhousie's College of Sustainability, I write poetry and play music. I live in a strawbale house in Auburndale and am involved in many community initiatives like the Bridgewater Community Christmas Dinner, the Bridgewater Community Garden Network, Afterglow Arts Festival and other projects. I am fascinated by stories and our ability to change, or re-story our own stories, as well as the stories of the places we live. FutureStart is a great example of young people creating the story they want to see for themselves and others.
Hello, I'm Gail. I have a worked with young people for over 20 years and am currently an Employment Caseworker with the Department of Community Services, Employment Support Services. I'm an entrepreneur and like to keep challenging myself in various ways to always keep learning. I've been exploring the idea of going back to school to do a masters program. HeartWood and the Lunenburg District Office have been partnering on numerous youth engagement projects over the past 5 years and it's been a pleasure to be part of these innovative projects and find creative ways for young people to become more involved in the community and identify their passions and aspirations.