Sheila found new skills and a job in her new community, thanks to a United Way funded program for women

My family moved here recently from Fort McPherson, in the Northwest Territories. We moved so my nine-year-old son, Curtis, could get a better education. We choose to live here even though it’s a sacrifice, because there’s no violence and crime and everything that can happen in a small community.

Coming from up north we decided to rent because it’s cheaper than buying. So we have to think about our rent. We have to think about our utilities. We have to think about our car payments. My husband’s a heavy equipment operator, which is seasonal, so it’ll pick up and it’ll go down. Right now it’s really slow. So it’s very important for me to work and have income.

Back home I worked as a health care aide, but I was ready for a change. I searched online and found out about a United Way funded program called Transitions to Success.

Every day was something different, like budgeting and first aid, information about addictions and practicing effective communication. On Wednesdays we would work at the food bank, and then some of the mothers in our program were offered food. That helped them out a lot.

Just doing the program with women was so good because you gain trust with them. 


The Transitions to Success program helps you with your resume, to put it the way that employers want to see it. So I was able to update my resume, do a cover letter and then they set up an interview panel, so I got really good practice. I did a practicum work placement as a receptionist, and then I got offered a job at the same place.

I use my new communication skills at home and at work. Things got better in our family.

As a receptionist I deal with a lot of people during the day – clients, doctors and nurses. Sometimes I have three lines going at a time. It’s the first job I ever had where I deal with so many people at once. I learned a lot from the program about how to deal with that kind of situation.

I talked to a few of my friends that were kind of having a hard time like looking for work. So I talked to them about the program and one of them applied. I think she is even doing her practicum now.

I’m so thankful that I took the program. It got me a job and changed my life.

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David OdumadeSheila’s Story