Recognizing client success, and the contributions of volunteers and employers, has been a staple each year at JVS Toronto’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). On September 30th, JVS Toronto presented its AGM Awards to six very deserving recipients.
Avi Pollock, JVS Toronto’s incoming Board Chair, mentioned that the awards ceremony is always his favourite part of the Annual General Meeting. “Whether they are being honoured as an employer who has made a commitment to use our services, or whether they are a client or a volunteer being honoured for making that commitment to better their lives or the lives of others, every recipient has trusted JVS Toronto in our ability to help them.”
Congratulations to our 2020 AGM Award winners.
Zianne Small – Freedman Family Award for Young Entrepreneurs
This award recognizes a young entrepreneur who has completed one of JVS Toronto’s youth entrepreneurship programs, and successfully operating a full-time or a part-time basis business.
Zianne joined the Youth Entrepreneurship Program when she needed help after launching her cleaning business, Elite Housekeeping. Before joining the program, Zianne was looking for ways to find the capital to grow the business and a strategy to break into the commercial cleaning market.
Through the YEP program Zianne received coaching on how to develop a business plan while gaining crucial knowledge in management, finance and marketing. With the grant provided by YEP, Zianne was able to purchase the essential cleaning equipment and hire staff.
Zianne is now the owner of a successful business specializing in cleaning both residential and commercial properties. She is a true entrepreneur and we wish her only success in her future.
Getachew Cherinet – Joseph Skolnik Award for New Canadians
This award recognizes a JVS Toronto newcomer client who has successfully integrated into Canadian society.
Getachew was a social worker in Ethiopia working to improve the lives of those most vulnerable in his community. Due to the political unrest in Ethiopia, it was time for Getachew, his wife and 2 kids to immigrate to Canada for a better life.
Getachew started volunteering at a non-profit organization once he arrived in Canada, but he was told that he needed to complete his equivalency courses to gain employment in social work even though he had his Masters in Social Work from back home.
Getachew enrolled in JVS Toronto’s ISAGE bridge training program, which helps internationally trained professionals with a background in Education and Healthcare. Between the academic courses at George Brown Collage and JVS Toronto’s pre-employment support, Getachew was able to create a Canadian-style resume and complete a 4-month placement working with seniors in a long-term facility.
With his determination and the support that he received through ISAGE, Getachew is now working in his field of study as a support worker in a homeless shelter where he is able to help those who are vulnerable in our community.
Hope Seneoudom – Betty Skolnik Award for Emerging Professionals
This award goes to a young professional new to their career with a promising future in their chosen field.
At 24, Hope didn’t have a vision of what she wanted to do with her life. She knew that not having a high school diploma and working as a server in a bar wasn’t where she wanted to be.
Hope learned about a pre-apprenticeship program through JVS Toronto’s YouthReach II York Region and was able to build her skills and experience in her industry of choice. JVS Toronto was able to subsidize her tuition and travelling costs to Barrie so she could attend her classes.
Hope was able to complete the program and secure a job working for a construction company. She is on her way to a brighter future because of her determination, hard work and positive outlook.
Robert Della-Penna – Berger Family Inspirational Award
This award recognizes the achievements, personal perseverance, and contribution a JVS Toronto client with a disability has made to the community.
Robert has been identified as empathetic, caring and always ready to encourage those around him, but he has experienced difficulty and loss that has negatively affected him. He has struggled with the communication issues characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the stigma attached to having ASD, which makes it difficult to find meaningful work.
After the loss of his mother to cancer, Robert joined JVS Toronto’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Job Readiness program where he learned about communication skills, workplace behaviour and how to self-advocate. Even with his own challenges, Robert always made time to encourage his fellow participants and turned that passion of helping others into a career as an American Sign Language Interpreter.
The ASD Job Readiness Program helped Robert build his interpersonal skills and learned to deal with difficult situations. He recently got accepted to George Brown’s ASL and Deaf Studies program and we wish him the best of luck moving forward with his newfound skills and confidence.
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto – Eunice & David Mouckley Employer of the Year Award
This award recognizes a JVS Toronto employer who has worked with us for more than one year and has provided special initiatives for clients with barriers to employment, such as language, culture, disability, or lack of updated skills.
Lisa is currently an Associate Director at the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) of Greater Toronto, but 6 years ago she was facing impending unemployment. Lisa received resume and coaching assistance from EMETemployment as she started her job search.
Lisa’s employment specialist introduced her to UJA who was looking to hire an Administrative Assistant. After exceeding UJA’s expectations, she received multiple promotions to lead her to her current role. Lisa remembers where she got her start with UJA and has advocated for the hiring of 8 job seekers from JVS Toronto’s Jewish community programs last year alone and they have all excelled in their positions.
The partnership between JVS Toronto and UJA is a strong one because of the shared commitment to the Jewish value of helping others.
Nadine Brown – Manny Mitchell Award for Excellence in Volunteerism
This award recognizes a dedicated volunteer who has demonstrated consistent commitment, dedication and reliability to both staff and clients.
Since February 2018, Nadine, who is a project manager by profession, has been a volunteer mentor with Canada InfoNet, JVS Toronto’s pre-arrival employment acceleration and mentoring program for international professional immigrating to Canada. She is one of 237 mentors who help dedicate their time to helping new Canadians when immigrating.
Nadine has been described as compassionate, encouraging and committed. She enjoys helping others and takes the time to understand her mentees’ challenges and goals to help them stay on track to meet their goals. So far, Nadine has helped 10 immigrant professionals and their families in their transition to Canada. She provides a broad range of assistance including tips on job hunting, networking, Canadian work culture, employee and manager relationships and even daycare advice.
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