André arrived in Ottawa from the U.S. in 2012 alone, with no place to live, and without the right paperwork to allow him to work even though he was a Canadian citizen. Someone told him about The Ottawa Mission, so André came seeking shelter – and received so much more.
André was always focused on two goals – getting a job and living independently. With this in mind, he immediately sought the services available at The Mission’s Stepping Stones Learning Centre. He took a number of on-line courses including math and electronics, and gained the qualifications he needed to go to college. He also worked hard to get his Citizenship papers in order.
Early this year André was granted a bursary by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges. He spent six months at the Kemptville and Ottawa campuses of Algonquin College where he successfully completed the Motive Power Pre-Apprenticeship Program with some of the highest marks in his class. During this time, assisted by housing support staff at The Mission, he also found a place to live.
André’s personal Christmas wish this year was to be able to use his new skills on the job. We are thrilled to report that Christmas came early for André. He is now working full-time as an apprentice at Allright Automotive Repair – and the reports from his new employers, Bruce & Patrice Anderson, are glowing!
There’s nothing like hard work and determination to make wishes come true. Not to mention the generosity of a community that allows The Mission to offer programs that make such a difference in peoples’ lives.