This past year has been rough for Gisele, her husband and their two children as circumstances forced them to turn to social services for help. But she was determined to turn things around and make a brighter future for her family. While speaking with someone at Ontario Works, Gisele learned about an opportunity to get some firsthand training in the food services industry at The Ottawa Mission.
Like most women, Gisele says she learned some cooking basics from her mother while growing up in Haiti and enjoyed making meals for her family. She felt working in a kitchen would be something she would enjoy – and she was right! Just a few short weeks ago, Gisele graduated from The Ottawa Mission’s 5-month Food Services Training Program, and she now has a full blown passion for cooking. She credits the kitchen team at The Ottawa Mission for her success. “They were welcoming, patient and very supportive of my circumstances”, she says.
Today Gisele is working in the kitchen of a local community college. She would like to eventually write her Red Seal exam to become a chef and her dream is to one day open her own family-run restaurant. As she says, “This is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life – I love it!”
So, 2015 is already shaping up to be a great year for Gisele, and she is so grateful to The Mission and its supporters for the wonderful second chance that the Food Services Training Program has provided for her and her family. Continued good luck, Gisele!