Nicole transitioned into Open Door Group’s WorkBC program from the former Aspire program in the winter of 2014. A 30-year-old from Kamloops, she faced challenges very early in her life. Nicole was born late, with a bulging fontanel and a club foot, and battled a severe case of measles at age one.
“Looking for support, Nicole’s parents brought her to Open Door Group to begin searching for new employment that worked for her.”
Nicole achieved developmental milestones as expected in the years to come as a toddler; however, as she got older and started school, teachers found her disruptive and unable to focus. In Grade 2, a school assessment found Nicole was delayed in her functioning, and further assessments at B.C. Children’s Hospital revealed she had epilepsy. While Nicole completed high school and was granted a Leaving School Certificate, her intellectual functioning was the equivalent of an eight year old’s.
Years of volunteering with various charities and community organizations during high school and into her twenties lead Nicole to a part-time job at Liquidation World in 2012. She loved it—it boosted her independence and confidence, she was responsible for stocking shelves and sorting merchandise, and it was within walking distance from the family home. Unfortunately, after two years, Liquidation World closed in Kamloops, and Nicole was out of work.
Looking for support, Nicole’s parents brought her to Open Door Group to begin searching for new employment that worked for her. She connected with a job developer, who helped Nicole explore possible employment opportunities. Businesses in the area were facing financial challenges, which limited hiring, and Nicole was clearly impacted by the challenges of job searching: her parents noticed her retreating from social interactions and spending most of her time inside.
“Nicole loves her new job and says that her family and friends are proud of her.”
Nevertheless, Nicole’s team at Open Door Group continued to seek out the right fit, and connected with Kamloops native Jason Cain. He was about to open up Cain’s Your Independent Grocer, and was eager to work with Nicole. She started at the grocery store soon after, helping stock shelves and proving herself as a valuable addition to the team. Nicole loves her new job and says that her family and friends are proud of her. Even her neighbour stopped by the other day to congratulate her. “She came right to the house and gave me a big hug,” said Nicole. “She was really happy for me.”